and what alice found there

by lewis carroll
TH RO UGH TH E
LO O KIN G- GLASS

AN D WH AT ALICE FO UN D TH ERE



by LEWIS CARROLL
CO N TEN TS

Looking-Glass house . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
The Garden of Live Flowers. . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Looking-Glass Insects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Tweedledum and Tweedledee . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Wool and Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Humpty Dumpty. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
The Lion and the Unicorn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
‘It’s My Own Invention’. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Queen Alice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Shaking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
Waking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
Which Dreamed it? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
Child of the pure unclouded brow
And dreaming eyes of wonder!
Though time be fleet, and I and thou
Are half a life asunder,
Thy loving smile will surely hail
The love-gift of a fairy-tale.
I have not seen thy sunny face,
Nor heard thy silver laughter:
No thought of me shall find a place
In thy young life’s hereafter –
Enough that now thou wilt not fail
To listen to my fairy-tale.
A tale begun in other days,
When summer suns were glowing–
A simple chime, that served to time
The rhythm of our rowing–
Whose echoes live in memory yet,
Though envious years would say “forget.”
Come, hearken, ere voice of dread,
With bitter tidings laden,
Shall summon to unwelcome bed
A melancholy maiden!
We are but older children, dear,
Who fret to find our bedtime near.
Without, the frost, the blinding snow,
The storm-wind’s moody madness–
Within, the firelight’s ruddy glow,
And childhood’s nest of gladness.
The magic words shall hold the fast:
Thoushalt not heed the raving blast.
And, though the shadow of a sigh
May tremble through the stor¥,
For”happy summer glory–
It shall not touch, with breath of bale,
The pleasance of our fairy-tale.
RED

Ø Ø Ø±Ø
Ø Ø Ø Ø
Ø½Ø Ø Ø
Ø Ø Ø½Ø
Ø ØMØ Ø
Ø Ø Ø Ø
Ø I±Ø Ø
Ø © ؤØ

WHITE

White Pawn (Alice)to play, and win in eleven moves

PAGE PAGE
1. Alice meets R.Q. 27 1. R.Q. to K.R. 4th 32
2. Alice through Q.’s 3d (by railway) 37 2. W.Q. to Q.B.’s 4th (after shawl) 67
to Q.’s 4th (Tweedledum and
Tweedledee) 50 3. W.Q. to Q.B.’s 5th (becomes
3.Alice meets W.Q. (with shawl) 67 sheep) 70
4. Alice to Q.’s 5th (shop, river, shop) 70 4.W.Q. to K.B.’s 8th (leaves egg
5. Alice to Q.’s 6th (Humpty Dumpty) 75 on shelf ) 74
6. Alice to Q.’s 7th (forest) 89 5. W.Q. to Q.B.’s 8th (flying
7. W. Kt. takes R. Kt. 104 from R. Kt.) 95
8. Alice to Q.’s 8th (coronation) 115 6. R. Kt. to K.’s 2nd (ch.) 104
9. Alice become Queen 124 7. W. Kt. to K.B.’s 5th 115
10. Alice castles (feast) 126 8. R.Q. to K.’s sq (examination) 117
11 Alice takes R.Q. and wins 132 9. Queen’s castle 124
10. W.Q. to Q. R. 6th (soup) 131
PREFACE

As the chess-problem, given on a previous page, has
puzzled some of my readers, it may be well to explain that it
is correctly worked out, so far as the

moves

are concerned.
The

alternation

of Red and White is perhaps not so strictly
observed as it might be, and the ‘castling’ of the three
Queens is merely a way of saying that they entered the pal-
ace; but the ‘check’ of the White King at move 6, the cap-
ture of the Red Knight at move 7, and the final ‘check-mate’
of the Red King, will be found, by any one who will take the
trouble to set the pieces and play the moves as directed, to
be strictly in accordance with the laws of the game.
The new words, in the poem ‘Jabberwocky’ (see page
19), have given rise to some differences of opinion as to
their pronounciation: so it may be well to give instructions
on

that

point also. Pronounce ‘slithy’ as if it were to the
words ‘sly, the’: make the ‘g’

hard

in ‘gyre’ and ‘gimble’:
and pronounce ‘rath’ to rhyme with ‘bath.’

Christmas,1896
TH RO UGH TH E LO O KIN G GLASS
AN D WH AT ALICE FO UN D TH ERE
8



CH AP TER 1



Looking-Glass house

One thing was certain, that the

white

kitten had had
nothing to do with it:— it was the black kitten’s fault
entirely. For the

white

kitten had been having its face
washed by the old cat for the last quarter of an hour (and
bearing it pretty well, considering); so you see that it

couldn’t


have had any hand in the mischief.
The way Dinah washed her children’s faces was this:
first she held the poor thing down by its ear with one paw,
and then with the other paw she rubbed its face all over, the
wrong way, beginning at the nose: and just now, as I said,
she was hard at work on the white kitten, which was lying
quite still and trying to purr— no doubt feeling that it was
all meant for its good.
But the black kitten had been finished with earlier in the
afternoon, and so, while Alice was sitting curled up in a cor-
ner of the great arm-chair, half talking to herself and half
asleep, the kitten had been having a grand game of romps
with the ball of worsted Alice had been trying to wind up,
and had been rolling it up and down till it had all come
9

Looking-Glass house

undone again; and there it was, spread over the hearth-rug,
all knots and tangles, with the kitten running after its own
tail in the middle.
‘Oh, you wicked little thing!’ cried Alice, catching up
the kitten, and giving it a little kiss to make it understand
that it was in disgrace. ‘Really, Dinah ought to have taught
you better manners! You

ought

, Dinah, you know you
ought!’ she added, looking reproachfully at the old cat, and
speaking in as cross a voice as she could manage— and then
she scrambled back into the arm-chair, taking the kitten and
the worsted with her, and began winding up the ball again.
But she didn’t get on very fast, as she was talking all the
time, sometimes to the kitten, and sometimes to herself.
Kitty sat very demurely on her knee, pretending to watch
the progress of the winding, and now and then putting out
one paw and gently touching the ball, as if it would be glad
to help, if it might.
‘Do you know what tomorrow is, Kitty?’ Alice began.
‘You’d have guessed if you’d been up in the window with
me— only Dinah was making you tidy, so you couldn’t. I
was watching the boys getting in stick for the bonfire— and
it wants plenty of sticks, Kitty! Only it got so cold, and it
snowed so, they had to leave off. Never mind, Kitty, we’ll
go and see the bonfire to-morrow.’ Here Alice wound two or
three turns of the worsted round the kitten’s neck, just to see
how it would look: this led to a scramble, in which the ball
rolled down upon the floor, and yards and yards of it got
unwound again.
‘Do you know, I was so angry, Kitty,’ Alice went on as
soon as they were comfortably settled again, ‘when I saw all
the mischief you had been doing, I was very nearly opening
the window, and putting you out into the snow! And you’d
have deserved it, you little mischievous darling! What have
you got to say for yourself? Now don’t interrupt me!’ she
went on, holding up one finger. ‘I’m going to tell you all
your faults. Number one: you squeaked twice while Dinah
10

Looking-Glass house

was washing your face this morning. Now you can’t deny it,
Kitty: I heard you! What that you say?’ (pretending that the
kitten was speaking.) ‘Her paw went into your eye? Well,
that’s

your

fault, for keeping your eyes open— if you’d shut
them tight up, it wouldn’t have happened. Now don’t make
any more excuses, but listen! Number two: you pulled
Snowdrop away by the tail just as I had put down the saucer
of milk before her! What, you were thirsty, were you? How
do you know she wasn’t thirsty too? Now for number three:
you unwound every bit of the worsted while I wasn’t look-
ing!
‘That’s three faults, Kitty, and you’ve not been punished
for any of them yet. You know I’m saving up all your pun-
11

Looking-Glass house

ishments for Wednesday week— Suppose they had saved up
all

my

punishments!’ she went on, talking more to herself
than the kitten. ‘What

would

they do at the end of a year? I
should be sent to prison, I suppose, when the day came.
Or— let me see— suppose each punishment was to be
going without a dinner: then, when the miserable day came,
I should have to go without fifty dinners at once! Well, I
shouldn’t mind

that

much! I’d far rather go without them
than eat them!
‘Do you hear the snow against the window-panes,
Kitty? How nice and soft it sounds! Just as if some one was
kissing the window all over outside. I wonder if the snow

loves

the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And
then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt;
and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer
comes again.” And when they wake up in the summer, Kitty,
they dress themselves all in green, and dance about— when-
ever the wind blows— oh, that’s very pretty!’ cried Alice,
dropping the ball of worsted to clap her hands. ‘And I do so

wish

it was true! I’m sure the woods look sleepy in the
autumn, when the leaves are getting brown.
‘Kitty, can you play chess? Now, don’t smile, my dear,
I’m asking it seriously. Because, when we were playing just
now, you watched just as if you understood it: and when I
said “Check!” you purred! Well, it

was

a nice check, Kitty,
and really I might have won, if it hadn’t been for that nasty
Knight, that came wiggling down among my pieces. Kitty,
dear, let’s pretend— ’ And here I wish I could tell you half
the things Alice used to say, beginning with her favourite
phrase ‘Let’s pretend.’ She had had quite a long argument
with her sister only the say before— all because Alice had
begun with ‘Let’s pretend we’re kings and queens;’ and her
sister, who liked being very exact, had argued that they
couldn’t, because there were only two of them, and Alice
had been reduced at last to say, ‘Well,

you

can be one of
them then, and

I’ll

be all the rest.” And once she had really
12

Looking-Glass house

frightened her old nurse by shouting suddenly in her ear,
‘Nurse! Do let’s pretend that I’m a hungry hyaena, and
you’re a bone.’
But this is taking us away from Alice’s speech to the kit-
ten. ‘Let’s pretend that you’re the Red Queen, Kitty! Do you
know, I think if you sat up and folded your arms, you’d look
exactly like her. Now do try, there’s a dear!’ And Alice got
the Red Queen off the table, and set it up before the kitten as
a model for it to imitate: however, the thing didn’t succeed,
principally, Alice said, because the kitten wouldn’t fold its
arms properly. So, to punish it, she held it up to the Look-
ing-glass, that it might see how sulky it was— ‘and if you’re
not good directly,’ she added, ‘I’ll put you through into
Looking-glass House. How would you like

that

?’
‘Now, if you’ll only attend, Kitty, and not talk so much,
I’ll tell you all my ideas aboutLooking-glass House. First,
there’s the room you can see through the glass— that’s just
the same as our drawing room, only the things go the other
way. I can see all of it when I get upon a chair— all but the
bit behind the fireplace. Oh! I do so wish I could see

that


bit! I want so much to know whether they’ve a fire in the
winter: you never

can

tell, you know, unless our fire
smokes, and then smoke comes up in that room too— but
that may be only pretence, just to make it look as if they had
a fire. Well then, the books are something like our books,
only the words go the wrong way; I know that, because I’ve
held up one of our books to the glass, and then they hold up
one in the other room.
‘How would you like to live in Looking-glass House,
Kitty? I wonder if they’d give you milk in there? Perhaps
Looking-glass milk isn’t good to drink— But oh, Kitty!
now we come to the passage. You can just see a little

peep

of
the passage in Looking-glass House, if you leave the door of
our drawing-room wide open: and it’s very like our passage
as far as you can see, only you know it may be quite differ-
ent on beyond. Oh, Kitty! how nice it would be if we could
13

Looking-Glass house

only get through into Looking- glass House! I’m sure it’s
got, oh! such beautiful things in it! Let’s pretend there’s a
way of getting through into it, somehow, Kitty. Let’s pretend
the glass has got all soft like gauze, so that we can get
through. Why, it’s turning into a sort of mist now, I declare!
It’ll be easy enough to get through— ’ She was up on the
chimney-piece while she said this, though she hardly knew
how she had got there. And certainly the glass

was

begin-
ning to melt away, just like a bright silvery mist.
In another moment Alice was through the glass, and had
jumped lightly down into the Looking-glass room. The very
first thing she did was to look whether there was a fire in the
fireplace, and she was quite pleased to find that there was a
14

Looking-Glass house

real one, blazing away as brightly as the one she had left
behind. ‘So I shall be as warm here as I was in the old
room,’ thought Alice: ‘warmer, in fact, because there’ll be
no one here to scold me away from the fire. Oh, what fun
it’ll be, when they see me through the glass in here, and
can’t get at me!’
Then she began looking about, and noticed that what
could be seen from the old room was quite common and
uninteresting, but that all the rest was a different as possible.
For instance, the pictures on the wall next the fire seemed to
be all alive, and the very clock on the chimney-piece (you
know you can only see the back of it inthe Looking-glass)
had got the face of a little old man, and grinned at her.
‘They don’t keep this room so tidy as the other,’ Alice
thought to herself, as she noticed several of the chessmen
down in the hearth among the cinders: but in another
moment, with a little ‘Oh!’ of surprise, she was down on her
hands and knees watching them. The chessmen were walk-
ing about, two and two!
‘Here are the Red King and the Red Queen,’ Alice said
(in a whisper, for fear of frightening them), ‘and there are
the White King and the White Queen sitting on the edge of
the shovel— and here are two castles walking arm in arm—
I don’t think they can hear me,’ she went on, as she put her
head closer down, ‘and I’m nearly sure they can’t see me. I
feel somehow as if I were invisible— ’
Here something began squeaking on the table behind
Alice, and made her turn her head just in time to see one of
the White Pawns roll over and begin kicking: she watched it
with great curiosity to see what would happen next.
‘It is the voice of my child!’ the White Queen cried out
as she rushed past the King, so violently that she knocked
him over among the cinders. ‘My precious Lily! My impe-
rial kitten!’ and she began scrambling wildly up the side of
the fender.
15

Looking-Glass house

‘Imperial fiddlestick!’ said the King, rubbing his nose,
which had been hurt by the fall. He had a right to be a

little


annoyed with the Queen, for he was covered with ashes
from head to foot.
Alice was very anxious to be of use, and, as the poor lit-
tle Lily was nearly screaming herself into a fit, she hastily
picked up the Queen and set her on the table by the side of
her noisy little daughter.
The Queen gasped, and sat down: the rapid journey
through the air had quite taken away her breath and for a
minute or two she could do nothing but hug the little Lily in
silence. As soon as she had recovered her breath a little, she
16

Looking-Glass house

called out to the White King, who was sitting sulkily among
the ashes, ‘Mind the volcano!’
‘What volcano?’ said the King, looking up anxiously
into the fire, as if he thought that was the most likely place
to find one.
‘Blew—me— up,’ panted the Queen, who was still a lit-
tle out of breath. ‘Mind you come up— the regular way—
don’t get blown up!’
Alice watched the White King as he slowly struggled up
from bar to bar, till at last she said, ‘Why, you’ll be hours
and hours getting to the table, at that rate. I’d far better help
you, hadn’t I?’ But the King took no notice of the question:
it was quite clear that he could neither hear her nor see her.
So Alice picked him up very gently, and lifted him
across more slowly than she had lifted the Queen, that she
mightn’t take his breath away: but, before she put him on
the table, she thought she might as well dust him a little, he
was so covered with ashes.
She said afterwards that she had never seen in all her life
such a face as the King made, when he found himself held
in the air by an invisible hand, and being dusted: he was far
17

Looking-Glass house

too much astonished to cry out, but his eyes and his mouth
went on getting larger and larger, and rounder and rounder,
till her hand shook so with laughing that she nearly let him
drop upon the floor.
‘Oh!

please

don’t make such faces, my dear!’ she cried
out, quite forgetting that the King couldn’t hear her. ‘You
make me laugh so that I can hardly hold you! And don’t
keep your mouth so wide open! All the ashes will get into
it— there, now I think you’re tidy enough!’ she added, as
she smoothed his hair, and set him upon the table near the
Queen.
The King immediately fell flat on his back, and lay per-
fectly still: and Alice was a little alarmed at what she had
done, and went round the room to see if she could find any
water to throw over him. However, she could find nothing
but a bottle of ink, and when she got back with it she found
he had recovered, and he and the Queen were talking
together in a frightened whisper— so low, that Alice could
hardly hear what they said.
18

Looking-Glass house

The King was saying, ‘I assure, you my dear, I turned
cold to the very ends of my whiskers!’
To which the Queen replied, ‘You haven’t got any whis-
kers.’
‘The horror of that moment,’ the King went on, ‘I shall
never,

never

forget!’
‘You will, though,’ the Queen said, ‘if you don’t make a
memorandum of it.’
Alice looked on with great interest as the King took an
enormous memorandum-book out of his pocket, and began
writing. A sudden thought struck her, and she took hold of
the end of the pencil, which came some way over his shoul-
der, and began writing for him.
The poor King look puzzled and unhappy, and struggled
with the pencil for some time without saying anything; but
Alice was too strong for him, and at last he panted out, ‘My
dear! I really

must

get a thinner pencil. I can’t manage this
one a bit; it writes all manner of things that I don’t intend —
. ’
‘What manner of things?’ said the Queen, looking over
the book (in which Alice had put ‘

The White Knight is
sliding down the poker. He balances very badly

’) ‘That’s
not a memorandum of

your

feelings!’
There was a book lying near Alice on the table, and
while she sat watching the White King (for she was still a
little anxious about him, and had the ink all ready to throw
over him, in case he fainted again), she turned over the
leaves, to find some part that she could read, ‘— for it’s all
in some language I don’t know,’ she said to herself.
It was like this.


YKCOWREBBAJ
sevot yhtils eht dna ,gillirb sawT‘
ebaw eht ni elbmig dna eryg diD
,sevogorob eht erew ysmim llA
.ebargtuo shtar emom eht dnA
19

Looking-Glass house

She puzzled over this for some time, but at last a bright
thought struck her. ‘Why, it’s a Looking-glass book, of
course! And if I hold it up to a glass, the words will all go
the right way again.” This was the poem that Alice read.

JABBERWOCKY
‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

‘Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jujub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!’
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
20

Looking-Glass house

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!
One, two!! One, two!! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.
‘And has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Calloh! Callay!
He chortled in his joy.
‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

‘It seems very pretty,’ she said when she had finished it,
‘but it’s

rather

hard to understand!’ (You see she didn’t like
to confess, ever to herself, that she couldn’t make it out at
all.) ‘Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas— only I
don’t exactly know what they are! However,

somebody


killed

something

: that’s clear, at any rate—’
‘But oh!’ thought Alice, suddenly jumping up, ‘if I don’t
make haste I shall have to go back through the Looking-
glass, before I’ve seen what the rest of the house is like!
Let’s have a look at the garden first!’ She was out of the
room in a moment, and ran down stairs— or, at least, it
wasn’t exactly running, but a new invention of hers for get-
ting down stairs quickly and easily, as Alice said to herself.
She just kept the tips of her fingers on the hand-rail, and
floated gently down without even touching the stairs with
21

Looking-Glass house

her feet; then she floated on through the hall, and would
have gone straight out at the door in the same way, if she
hadn’t caught hold of the door-post. She was getting a little
giddy with so much floating in the air, and was rather glad
to find herself walking again in the natural way.
22

CH AP TER II

The Garden of Live Flowers

‘I should see the garden far better,’ said Alice to
herself, ‘if I could get to the top of that hill: and
here’s a path that leads straight to it— at least, no, it
doesn’t do that— ’ (after going a few yards along
the path, and turning several sharp corners), ‘but I
suppose it will at last. But how curiously it twists!
It’s more like a corkscrew than a path! Well,

this


23

The Garden of Live Flowers

turn goes to the hill, I suppose— no, it doesn’t!
This goes straight back to the house! Well then, I’ll
try it the other way.’
And so she did: wandering up and down, and
trying turn after turn, but always coming back to
the house, do what she would. Indeed, once, when
she turned a corner rather more quickly than usual,
she ran against it before she could stop herself.
‘It’s no use talking about it,” Alice said, looking
up at the house and pretending it was arguing with
her. ‘I’m

not

going in again yet. I know I should
have to get through the Looking-glass again— back
into the old room—and there’d be an end of all my
adventures!’
So, resolutely turning back upon the house, she
set out once more down the path, determined to
keep straight on till she got to the hill. For a few
minutes all went on well, and she was just saying,
‘I really

shall

do it this time— ’ when the path gave
a sudden twist and shook itself (as she described it
afterwards), and the next moment she found herself
actually walking in at the door.
‘Oh, it’s too bad!’ she cried. ‘I never saw such a
house for getting in the way! Never!’
However, there was the hill full in sight, so there
was nothing to be done but start again. This time
she came upon a large flower-bed, with a border of
daisies, and a willow-tree growing in the middle.
‘O Tiger-lily,’ said Alice, addressing herself to
one that was waving gracefully about in the wind,
‘I

wish

you could talk!’
24

The Garden of Live Flowers

‘We

can

talk,’ said the Tiger-lily: ‘when there’s
anybody worth talking to.’
Alice was so astonished that she could not speak
for a minute: it quite seemed to take her breath
away. At length, as the Tiger-lily only went on wav-
ing about, she spoke again, in a timid voice—
almost in a whisper. ‘And can

all

the flowers talk?’
‘As well as

you

can,’ said the Tiger-lily. ‘And a
great deal louder.’
‘It isn’t manners for us to begin, you know,’ said
the Rose, ‘and I really was wondering when you’d
speak! Said I to myself, “Her face has got

some


sense in it, thought it’s not a clever one!” Still,
you’re the right colour, and that goes a long way.’
‘I don’t care about the colour,’ the Tiger-lily
remarked. ‘If only her petals curled up a little more,
she’d be all right.’
Alice didn’t like being criticised, so she began
asking questions. ‘Aren’t you sometimes frightened
at being planted out here, with nobody to take care
of you?’
‘There’s the tree in the middle,’ said the Rose:
‘what else is it good for?’
‘But what could it do, if any danger came?’
Alice asked.
‘It could bark,’ said the Rose.
‘It says “Bough-wough!” cried a Daisy: ‘that’s
why its branches are called boughs!’
‘Didn’t you know

that

?’ cried another Daisy,
and here they all began shouting together, till the
air seemed quite full of little shrill voices. ‘Silence,
25

The Garden of Live Flowers

every one of you!’ cried the Tiger- lily, waving
itself passionately from side to side, and trembling
with excitement. ‘They know I can’t get at them!’ it
panted, bending its quivering head towards Alice,
‘or they wouldn’t dare to do it!’
‘Never mind!’ Alice said in a soothing tone, and
stooping down to the daisies, who were just begin-
ning again, she whispered, ‘If you don’t hold your
tongues, I’ll pick you!’
There was silence in a moment, and several of
the pink daisies turned white.
‘That’s right!’ said the Tiger-lily. ‘The daisies
are worst of all. When one speaks, they all begin
together, and it’s enough to make one wither to
hear the way they go on!’
‘How is it you can all talk so nicely?’ Alice said,
hoping to get it into a better temper by a compli-
ment. ‘I’ve been in many gardens before, but none
of the flowers could talk.’
‘Put your hand down, and feel the ground,’ said
the Tiger-lily. ‘Then you’ll know why.
Alice did so. ‘It’s very hard,’ she said, ‘but I
don’t see what that has to do with it.’
‘In most gardens,’ the Tiger-lily said, ‘they
make the beds too soft— so that the flowers are
always asleep.’
This sounded a very good reason, and Alice was
quite pleased to know it. ‘I never thought of that
before!’ she said.
‘It’s

my

opinion that you never think

at



all

,’ the
Rose said in a rather severe tone.
26

The Garden of Live Flowers

‘I never say anybody that looked stupider,’ a
Violet said, so suddenly, that Alice quite jumped;
for it hadn’t spoken before.
‘Hold

your

tongue!’ cried the Tiger-lily. ‘As if

you

ever saw anybody! You keep your head under
the leaves, and snore away there, till you know no
more what’s going on in the world, that if you were
a bud!’
‘Are there any more people in the garden
besides me?’ Alice said, not choosing to notice the
Rose’s last remark.
‘There’s one other flower in the garden that can
move about like you,’ said the Rose. ‘I wonder how
you do it— ’ (‘You’re always wondering,’ said the
Tiger-lily), ‘but she’s more bushy than you are.’
‘Is she like me?’ Alice asked eagerly, for the
thought crossed her mind, ‘There’s another little
girl in the garden, somewhere!’
‘Well, she has the same awkward shape as you,’
the Rose said, ‘but she’s redder— and her petals are
shorter, I think.’
‘Her petals are done up close, almost like a
dahlia,’ the Tiger-lily interrupted: ‘not tumbled
about anyhow, like yours.’
‘But that’s not

your

fault,’ the Rose added
kindly: ‘you’re beginning to fade, you know— and
then one can’t help one’s petals getting a little
untidy.’
Alice didn’t like this idea at all: so, to change
the subject, she asked ‘Does she ever come out
here?’
27

The Garden of Live Flowers

‘I daresay you’ll see her soon,’ said the Rose.
‘She’s one of the thorny kind.’
‘Where does she wear the thorns?’ Alice asked
with some curiosity.
‘Why all round her head, of course,’ the Rose
replied. ‘I was wondering

you

hadn’t got some too.
I thought it was the regular rule.’
‘She’s coming!’ cried the Larkspur. ‘I hear her
footstep, thump, thump, thump, along the gravel-
walk!’
Alice looked round eagerly, and found that it
was the Red Queen. ‘She’s grown a good deal!’
was her first remark. She had indeed: when Alice
first found her in the ashes, she had been only three
inches high— and here she was, half a head taller
than Alice herself!
‘It’s the fresh air that does it,’ said the Rose:
‘wonderfully fine air it is, out here.’
‘I think I’ll go and meet her,’ said Alice, for,
though the flowers were interesting enough, she
felt that it would be far grander to have a talk with a
real Queen.
‘You can’t possibly do that,’ said the Rose: ‘

I


should advise you to walk the other way.’
This sounded nonsense to Alice, so she said
nothing, but set off at once towards the Red Queen.
To her surprise, she lost sight of her in a moment,
and found herself walking in at the front-door
again.
A little provoked, she drew back, and after look-
ing everywhere for the queen (whom she spied out
28

The Garden of Live Flowers

at last, a long way off), she thought she would try
the plan, this time, of walking in the opposite direc-
tion.
It succeeded beautifully. She had not been walk-
ing a minute before she found herself face to face
with the Red Queen, and full in sight of the hill she
had been so long aiming at.
‘Where do you come from?’ said the Red
Queen. ‘And where are you going? Look up, speak
nicely, and don’t twiddle your fingers all the time.’
Alice attended to all these directions, and
explained, as well as she could, that she had lost
her way.
‘I don’t know what you mean by

your

way,’ said
the Queen: ‘all the ways about here belong to

me


29

The Garden of Live Flowers

but why did you come out here at all?’ she added in
a kinder tone. ‘Curtsey while you‘re thinking what
to say, it saves time.’
Alice wondered a little at this, but she was too
much in awe of the Queen to disbelieve it. ‘I’ll try it
when I go home,’ she thought to herself. ‘the next
time I’m a little late for dinner.’
‘It’s time for you to answer now,’ the Queen
said, looking at her watch: ‘open your mouth a

little


wider when you speak, and always say “your Maj-
esty.”’
‘I only wanted to see what the garden was like,
your Majesty--’
‘That’s right,’ said the Queen, patting her on the
head, which Alice didn’t like at all, ‘though, when
you say “garden,”—

I’ve

seen gardens, compare
with which this would be a wilderness.’
Alice didn’t dare to argue the point, but went
on: ‘-- and I thought I’d try and find my way to the
top of that hill— ’
‘When you say “hill,”’ the Queen interrupted, ‘

I


could show you hills, in comparison with which
you’d call that a valley.’
‘No, I shouldn’t,’ said Alice, surprised into con-
tradicting her at last: ‘a hill

can’t

be a valley, you
know. That would be nonsense— ’
‘The Red Queen shook her head, ‘You may call
it “nonsense” if you like,’ she said, ‘ but

I’ve

heard
nonsense, compared with which that would be as
sensible as a dictionary!’
30

The Garden of Live Flowers

Alice curtseyed again, as she was afraid from
the Queen’s tone that she was a

little

offended: and
they walked on in silence till they got to the top of
the little hill.
For some minutes Alice stood without speaking,
looking out in all directions over the country— and
a most curious country it was. There were a number
of tiny little brooks running straight across it from
side to side, and the ground between was divided
up into squares by a number of little green hedges,
that reached from brook to brook.
‘I declare it’s marked out just like a large chess-
board!’ Alice said at last. ‘There ought to be some
men moving about somewhere— and so there are!’
She added in a tone of delight, and her heart began
to beat quick with excitement as she went on. ‘It’s a
great huge game of chess that’s being played— all
over the world— if this

is

the world at all, you
know. Oh, what fun it is! How I

wish

I was one of
them! I wouldn’t mind being a Pawn, if only I
31

The Garden of Live Flowers

might join— though of course I should

like

to be a
Queen, best.’
She glanced rather shyly at the real Queen as
she said this, but her companion only smiled pleas-
antly, and said, ‘That’s easily managed. You can be
the White Queen’s Pawn, if you like, as Lily’s too
young to play; and you’re in the Second Square to
began with: when you get to the Eighth Square
you’ll be a Queen— ’ Just at this moment, some-
how or other, they began to run.
Alice never could quite make out, in thinking it
over afterwards, how it was that they began: all she
remembers is, that they were running hand in hand,
and the Queen went so fast that it was all she could
do to keep up with her: and still the Queen kept
crying ‘Faster! Faster!’ but Alice felt she

could



not


go faster, thought she had not breath left to say so.
The most curious part of the thing was, that the
trees and the other things round them never
changed their places at all: however fast they went,
they never seemed to pass anything. ‘I wonder if all
the things move along with us?’ thought poor puz-
zled Alice. And the Queen seemed to guess her
thoughts, for she cried, ‘Faster! Don’t try to talk!’
Not that Alice had any idea of doing

that

. She
felt as if she would never be able to talk again, she
was getting so much out of breath: and still the
Queen cried ‘Faster! Faster!’ and dragged her
along. ‘Are we nearly there?’ Alice managed to
pant out at last.
32

The Garden of Live Flowers

‘Nearly there!’ the Queen repeated. ‘Why, we
passed it ten minutes ago! Faster! And they ran on
for a time in silence, with the wind whistling in
Alice’s ears, and almost blowing her hair off her
head, she fancied.
‘Now! Now!’ cried the Queen. ‘Faster! Faster!’
And they went so fast that at last they seemed to
skim through the air, hardly touching the ground
with their feet, till suddenly, just as Alice was get-
ting quite exhausted, they stopped, and she found
herself sitting on the ground, breathless and giddy.
The Queen propped her up against a tree, and
said kindly, ‘You may rest a little now.’
Alice looked round her in great surprise. ‘Why,
I do believe we’ve been under this tree the whole
time! Everything’s just as it was!’
‘Of course it is,’ said the Queen, ‘what would
you have it?’
‘Well, in

our

country,’ said Alice, still panting a
little, ‘you’d generally get to somewhere else—if
33

The Garden of Live Flowers

you ran very fast for a long time, as we’ve been
doing.’
‘A slow sort of country!’ said the Queen. ‘Now,

here

, you see, it takes all the running

you

can do, to
keep in the same place. If you want to get some-
where else, you must run at least twice as fast as
that!’
‘I’d rather not try, please!’ said Alice. ‘I’m quite
content to stay here— only I

am

so hot and thirsty!’
‘I know what

you’d

like!’ the Queen said good-
naturedly, taking a little box out of her pocket.
‘Have a biscuit?’
Alice thought it would not be civil to say ‘No,’
though it wasn’t at all what she wanted. So she took
it, and ate it as well as she could: and it was

very


dry; and she thought she had never been so nearly
choked in all her life.
‘While you’re refreshing yourself,’ said the
Queen, ‘I’ll just take the measurements.’ And she
took a ribbon out of her pocket, marked in inches,
and began measuring the ground, and sticking little
pegs in here and there.
‘At the end of two yards,’ she said, putting in a
peg to mark the distance, ‘I shall give you your
directions— have another biscuit?’
‘No, thank you,’ said Alice,: ‘one’s

quite


enough!’
‘Thirst quenched, I hope?’ said the Queen.
Alice did not know what to say to this, but luck-
ily the Queen did not wait for an answer, but went
on. ‘At the end of

three

yards I shall repeat them—
34

The Garden of Live Flowers

for fear of your forgetting them. At then end of

four

,
I shall say good-bye. And at then end of

five

, I shall
go!’
She had got all the pegs put in by this time, and
Alice looked on with great interest as she returned
to the tree, and then began slowly walking down
the row.
At the two-yard peg she faced round, and said,
‘A pawn goes two squares in its first move, you
know. So you’ll go

very

quickly through the Third
Square—by railway, I should think— and you’ll
find yourself in the Fourth Square in no time. Well,

that

square belongs to Tweedledum and Tweedle-
dee— the Fifth is mostly water— the Sixth belongs
to Humpty Dumpty— But you make no remark?’
‘I— I didn’t know I had to make one— just
then,’ Alice faltered out.
‘You

should

have said,’ ‘”It’s extremely kind of
you to tell me all this”— however, we’ll suppose it
said— the Seventh Square is all forest— however,
one of the Knights will show you the way— and in
the Eighth Square we shall be Queens together, and
it’s all feasting and fun!’ Alice got up and curt-
seyed, and sat down again.
At the next peg the Queen turned again, and this
time she said, ‘Speak in French when you can’t
think of the English for a thing— turn out your toes
as you walk— and remember who you are!’ She
did not wait for Alice to curtsey this time, but
walked on quickly to the next peg, where she
35

The Garden of Live Flowers

turned for a moment to say ‘good-bye,’ and then
hurried on to the last.
How it happened, Alice never knew, but exactly
as she came to the last peg, she was gone. Whether
she vanished into the air, or whether she ran
quickly into the wood (‘and she

can

run very fast!’
thought Alice), there was no way of guessing, but
she was gone, and Alice began to remember that
she was a Pawn, and that it would soon be time for
her to move.
36

CH AP TER III

Looking-Glass Insects
Of course the first thing to do was to make a
grand survey of the country she was going to travel
through. ‘It’s something very like learning geogra-
phy,’ thought Alice, as she stood on tiptoe in hopes
of being able to see a little further. ‘Principal riv-
ers— there

are

none. Principal mountains— I’m on
the only one, but I don’t think it’s got any name.
Principal towns— why, what

are

those creatures,
making honey down there? They can’t be bees—
nobody ever saw bees a mile off, you know - - ’ and
for some time she stood silent, watching one of
them that was bustling about among the flowers,
37

Looking-Glass Insects

poking its proboscis into them, ‘just as if it was a
regular bee,’ thought Alice.
However, this was anything but a regular bee: in
fact it was an elephant— as Alice soon found out,
though the idea quite took her breath away at first.
‘And what enormous flowers they must be!’ was
her next idea. ‘Something like cottages with the
roofs taken off, and stalks put to them— and what
quantities of honey they must make! I think I’ll go
down and— no, I won’t

just

yet, ’ she went on,
checking herself just as she was beginning to run
down the hill, and trying to find some excuse for
turning shy so suddenly. ‘It’ll never do to go down
among them without a good long branch to brush
them away— and what fun it’ll be when they ask
me how I like my walk. I shall say— “Oh, I like it
well enough— “’ (here came the favourite little
toss of the head), ‘”only it was so dusty and hot,
and the elephants did tease so!”’
‘I think I’ll go down the other way,’ she said
after a pause: ‘and perhaps I may visit the elephants
later on. Besides, I do so want to get into the Third
Square!’
So with this excuse she ran down the hill and
jumped over the first of the six littlebrooks.
‘Tickets, please!’ said the Guard, putting his
head in at the window. In a moment everybody was
holding out a ticket: they were about the same size
as the people, and quite seemed to fill the carriage.
‘Now then! Show your ticket, child!’ the Guard
went on, looking angrily at Alice. And a great many
38

Looking-Glass Insects

voices all said together (‘like the chorus of a song,’
thought Alice), ‘Don’t keep him waiting, child!
Why, his time is worth a thousand pounds a
minute!’
‘I’m afraid I haven’t got one,’ Alice said in a
frightened tone: ‘there wasn’t a ticket-office where
I came from.” And again the chorus of voices went
on. ‘There wasn’t room for one where she came
from. The land there is worth a thousand pounds an
inch!’
‘Don’t make excuses,’ said the Guard: ‘you
should have bought one from the engine-driver.’
And once more the chorus of voices went on with
‘The man that drives the engine. Why, the smoke
alone is worth a thousand pounds a puff!’
Alice thought to herself, ‘Then there’s no use in
speaking.” The voices didn’t join in this time, as
she hadn’t spoken, but to her great surprise, they all

thought

in chorus (I hope you understand what

thinking



in chorus

means— for I must confess that

I

don’t), ‘Better say nothing at all. Language is worth
a thousand pounds a word!’
‘I shall dream about a thousand pounds tonight,
I know I shall!’ thought Alice.
All this time the Guard was looking at her, first
through a telescope, then through a microscope,
and then through an opera- glass. At last he said,
‘You’re travelling the wrong way,’ and shut up the
window and went away.
‘So young a child,’ said the gentleman sitting
opposite to her (he was dressed in white paper),
39

Looking-Glass Insects

‘ought to know which way she’s going, even if she
doesn’t know her own name!’
A Goat, that was sitting next to the gentleman in
white, shut his eyes and said in aloud voice, ‘She
ought to know her way to the ticket-office, even if
she doesn’t know her alphabet!’
There was a Beetle sitting next to the Goat (it
was a very queer carriage-full of passengers alto-
gether), and, as the rule seemed to be that they
should all speak in turn,

he

went on with ‘She’ll
have to go back from here as luggage!’
Alice couldn’t see who was sitting beyond the
Beetle, but a hoarse voice spoke next. ‘Change
engines— ’ it said, and was obliged to leave off.
‘It sounds like a horse,’ Alice thought to herself.
And an extremely small voice, close to her ear,
said, ‘You might make a joke on that— something
about “horse” and “hoarse,” you know.’
Then a very gentle voice in the distance said,
‘She must be labelled “Lass, with care,” you
know— ’
And after that other voices went on (What a
number of people there are in the carriage!’ thought
Alice), saying, ‘She must go by post, as she’s got a
head on her— ’ ‘She must be sent as a message by
the telegraph— ’ ‘She must draw the train herself
the rest of the way— ’ and so on.
But the gentleman dressed in white paper leaned
forwards and whispered in her ear, ‘Never mind
what they all say, my dear, but take a return-ticket
every time the train stops.”
40

Looking-Glass Insects

‘Indeed I shan’t!’ Alice said rather impatiently.
‘I don’t belong to this railway journey at all— I
was in a wood just now— and I wish I could get
back there.’ ‘You might make a joke on

that

, said
the little voice close to her ear: ‘somethingabout
“you

would

if you could,” you know.’
‘Don’t tease so,’ said Alice, looking about in
vain to see where the voice came from; ‘if you’re so
anxious to have a joke made, why don’t you make
one yourself?’
The little voice sighed deeply: it was

very


unhappy, evidently, and Alice would have said
something pitying to comfort it, ‘If it would only
sigh like other people!’ she thought. But this was
such a wonderfully small sigh, that she wouldn’t
have heard it at all, if it hadn’t come

quite

close to
her ear. The consequence of this was that it tickled
her ear very much, and quite took off her thoughts
from the unhappiness of the poor little creature. ‘I
know you are a friend, the little voice went on; ‘a
dear friend, and an old friend. And you won’t hurt
me, though I

am

an insect.’
‘What kind of insect?’ Alice inquired a little
anxiously. What she really wanted to know was,
whether it could sting or not, but she thought this
wouldn’t be quite a civil question to ask. ‘What,
then you don’t— ’ the little voice began, when it
was drowned by a shrill scream from the engine,
and everybody jumped up in alarm, Alice among
the rest.
41

Looking-Glass Insects

The Horse, who had put his head out of the win-
dow, quietly drew it in and said, ‘It’s only a brook
we have to jump over.’ Everybody seemed satisfied
with this, though Alice felt a little nervous at the
idea of trains jumped at all. ‘However, it’ll take us
into the Fourth Square, that’s some comfort!’ she
said to herself. In another moment she felt the car-
riage rise straight up into the air, and in her fright
she caught at the thing nearest to her hand. which
happened to be the Goat’s beard.
But the beard seemed to melt away as she
touched it, and she found herself sitting quietly
under a tree— while the Gnat (for that was the
insect she had been talking to) was balancing itself
on a twig just over her head, and fanning her with
its wings.
It certainly was a

very

large Gnat: ‘about the
size of a chicken,’ Alice thought. Still, she couldn’t
feel nervous with it, after they had been talking
together so long.
42

Looking-Glass Insects

‘— then you don’t like all insects?’ the Gnat
went on, as quietly as if nothing had happened.
‘I like them when they can talk,’ Alice said.
‘None of them ever talk, where

I

come from.’
‘What sort of insects do you rejoice in, where

you


come from?’ the Gnat inquired.
‘I don’t

rejoice

in insects at all,’ Alice explained,
‘because I’m rather afraid of them— at least the
large kinds. But I can tell you the names of some of
them.”
43

Looking-Glass Insects

‘Of course they answer to their names?’ the
Gnat remarked carelessly.
‘I never knew them do it.’
‘What’s the use of their having names the Gnat
said, ‘if they won’t answer to them?’
‘No use to

them

,’ said Alice; ‘but it’s useful to
the people who name them, I suppose. If not, why
do things have names at all?’
‘I can’t say,’ the Gnat replied. ‘Further on, in the
wood down there, they’ve got no names— how-
ever, go on with your list of insects: you’re wasting
time.’
‘Well, there’s the Horse-fly,’ Alice began, count-
ing off the names on her fingers.
‘All right,’ said the Gnat: ‘half way up that bush,
you’ll see a Rocking-horse-fly, if you look. It’s
made entirely of wood, and gets about by swinging
itself from branch to branch.’
‘What does it live on?’ Alice asked, with great
curiosity.
‘Sap and sawdust,’ said the Gnat. ‘Go on with
the list.’
Alice looked up at the Rocking-horse-fly with
great interest, and made up her mindthat it must
have been just repainted, it looked so bright and
sticky; and then she went on.
‘And there’s the Dragon-fly.’
‘Look on the branch above your head,’ said the
Gnat, ‘and there you’ll find a snap-dragon-fly. Its
body is made of plum-pudding, its wings of holly-
leaves, and its head is a raisin burning in brandy.’
44

Looking-Glass Insects

‘And what does it live on?’
‘Frumenty and mince pie,’ the Gnat replied;
‘and it makes is nest in a Christmas box.’
‘And then there’s the Butterfly,’ Alice went on,
after she had taken a good look at the insect with its
head on fire, and had thought to herself, ‘I wonder
if that’s the reason insects are so fond of flying into
candles— because they want to turn into Snap-
dragon-flies!’
‘Crawling at your feet,’ said the Gnat (Alice
drew her feet back in some alarm), ‘you may
observe a Bread-and-Butterfly. Its wings are thin
slices of Bread-and-butter, its body is a crust, and
its head is a lump of sugar.’
‘And what does

it

live on?’
‘Weak tea with cream in it.’ A new difficulty
came into Alice’s head. ‘Supposing it couldn’t find
any?’ she suggested.
‘Then it would die, of course.’
‘But that must happen very often,’ Alice
remarked thoughtfully.
‘It always happens,’ said the Gnat.
After this, Alice was silent for a minute or two,
pondering. The Gnat amused itself meanwhile by
humming round and round her head: at last it set-
tled again and remarked, ‘I suppose you don’t want
to lose your name?’
‘No, indeed,’ Alice said, a little anxiously.
‘And yet I don’t know,’ the Gnat went on in a
careless tone: ‘only think howconvenient it would
be if you could manage to go home without it! For
45

Looking-Glass Insects

instance, if the governess wanted to call you to
your lessons, she would call out “come here— ,”
and there she would have to leave off, because
there wouldn’t be any name for her to all, and of
course you wouldn’t have to go, you know.’
‘That would never do, I’m sure,’ said Alice: ‘the
governess would never think of excusing me les-
sons for that. If she couldn’t remember my name,
she’d call me “Miss!” as the servants do.’
‘Well. if she said “Miss,” and didn’t say any-
thing more,’ the Gnat remarked, ‘of course you’d
miss your lessons. That’s a joke. I wish

you

had
made it.’
‘Why do you wish

I

had made it?’ Alice asked.
‘It’s a very bad one.’
But the Gnat only sighed deeply, while two
large tears came rolling down its cheeks.
‘You shouldn’t make jokes,’ Alice said, ‘if it
makes you so unhappy.’
Then came another of those melancholy little
sighs, and this time the poor Gnat really seemed to
have sighed itself away, for, when Alice looked up,
there was nothing whatever to be seen on the twig,
and, as she was getting quite chilly with sitting still
so, long she got up and walked on.
She very soon came to an open field, with a
wood on the other side of it: it looked much darker
than the last wood, and Alice felt a

little

timid about
going into it. However, on second thoughts, she
made up her mind to go on: ‘for I certainly won’t
46

Looking-Glass Insects

go

back

,’ she thought to herself, and this was the
only way to the Eighth Square.
‘This must be the wood, she said thoughtfully to
herself, ‘where things have no names. I wonder
what’ll become of

my

name when I go in? I
shouldn’t like to lose it at all— because they’d have
to give me another, and it would be almost certain
to be an ugly one. But then the fun would be, trying
to find the creature that had got my old name!
That’s just like the advertisements, you know, when
people lose dogs—

“answers to the name of Dash:’
had on a brass collar”

— just fancy calling everything
you met “Alice,” till one of them answered! Only
they wouldn’t answer at all, if they were wise.’
She was rambling on in this way when she
reached the wood: it looked very cooland shady.
‘Well, at any rate it’s a great comfort,’ she said as
she stepped under the trees, ‘after being so hot, to
get into the— into

what

?’ she went on, rather sur-
prised at not being able to think of the word. ‘I
mean to get under the— under the— under

this

,
you know!’ putting her hand on the trunk of the
tree. ‘What

does

it call itself, I wonder? I do believe
it’s got no name— why, to be sure it hasn’t!’
She stood silent for a minute, thinking: then she
suddenly began again. ‘Then it really

has

happened,
after all! And how, who am I? I

will

remember, if I
can! I’m determined to do it!’ But being deter-
mined didn’t help much, and all she could say, after
a great deal of puzzling, was,‘L, I

know

it begins
with L!’
47

Looking-Glass Insects

Just then a Fawn came wandering by: it looked
at Alice with its large gentle eyes, but didn’t seem
at all frightened. ‘Here then! Here then!’ Alice said,
as he held out her hand and tried to stroke it; but it
only started back a little, and then stood looking at
her again.
‘What do you call yourself?’ the Fawn said at
last. Such a soft sweet voice it had!
‘I wish I knew!’ thought poor Alice. She
answered, rather sadly, ‘Nothing, just now.’
‘Think again,’ it said: ‘that won’t do.’
Alice thought, but nothing came of it. ‘Please,
would you tell me what

you

call yourself?’ she said
timidly. ‘I think that might help a little.’
‘I’ll tell you, of you’ll move a little further on,’
the Fawn said. ‘I can’t remember here.’
48

Looking-Glass Insects

So they walked on together though the wood,
Alice with her arms clasped lovingly round the soft
neck of the Fawn, till they came out into another
open field, and here the Fawn gave a sudden bound
into the air, and shook itself free from Alice’s arms.
‘I’m a Fawn!’ it cried out in a voice of delight,
‘and, dear me! you’re a human child!’ A sudden
look of alarm came into its beautiful brown eyes,
and in another moment it had darted away a full
speed.
Alice stood looking after it, almost ready to cry
with vexation at having lost her dear little fellow-
traveller so suddenly. ‘However, I know my name
now.’ she said, ‘that’s

some

comfort. Alice—
Alice— I won’t forget it again. And now, which of
these finger-posts ought I to follow, I wonder?’
It was not a very difficult question to answer, as
there was only one road through the wood, and the
two finger-posts both pointed along it. ‘I’ll settle
it,’ Alice said to herself, ‘when the road divides and
they point different ways.’
But this did not seem likely to happen. She went
on and on, a long way, but wherever the road
divided there were sure to be two finger-posts
pointing the same way, one marked

‘To



Tweedle-
dum’s house’

and the other

‘To



the house of Tweedledee.’

‘I do believe,’ said Alice at last, ‘that they live in
the same house! I wonder I never thought of that
before— But I can’t stay there long. I’ll just call
and say “how d’you do?” and ask them the way out
of the wood. If I could only get the Eighth Square
49

Looking-Glass Insects

before it gets dark!’ So she wandered on, talking to
herself as she went, till, on turning a sharp corner,
she came upon two fat little men, so suddenly that
she could not help starting back, but in another
moment she recovered herself, feeling sure that
they must be
50

CH AP TER IV



Tweedledum and Tweedledee

They were standing under a tree, each with an arm
round the other’s neck, and Alice knew which was which in
a moment, because one of them had ‘

dum

’ embroidered on
his collar, and the other ‘

dee

.’ ‘I suppose they’ve each got


Tweedle

” round at the back of the collar,’ she said to her-
self.
They stood so still that she quite forgot they were alive,
and she was just looking round to see if the word “

Twee-
dle

” was written at the back of each collar, when she was
startled by a voice coming from the one marked ‘

dum

.’
‘If you think we’re wax-works,’ he said, ‘you ought to
pay, you know. Wax-works weren’t made to be looked at for
nothing, Nohow!’
‘Contrariwise,’ added the one marked ‘

dee

,’ ‘if you
think we’re alive, you ought to speak.’
‘I’m sure I’m very sorry,’ was all Alice could say; for the
words of the old song kept ringing through her head like the
ticking of a clock, and she could hardly help saying them
out loud: --

‘Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel.’
51

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

‘I know what you’re thinking about,’ said Tweedledum:
‘but it isn’t so, nohow.’
‘Contrariwise,’ continued Tweedledee, ‘if it was so, it
might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it
ain’t. That’s logic.’
‘I was thinking,’ Alice said very politely, ‘which is the
best way out of this wood: it’s getting so dark. Would you
tell me, please?’
But the fat little men only looked at each other and
grinned.
They looked so exactly like a couple of great school-
boys, that Alice couldn’t help pointing her finger at Twee-
dledum, and saying ‘First Boy!’
‘Nohow!’ Tweedledum cried out briskly, and shut his
mouth up again with a snap.
‘Next Boy!’ said Alice, passing on to Tweedledee,
though she felt quite certain he would only shout out “Con-
trariwise!’ and so he did.
‘You’ve been wrong!’ cried Tweedledum. ‘The first
thing in a visit is to say “How d’ye do?” and shake hands!’
52

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

And here the two brothers gave each other a hug, and then
they held out the two hands that were free, to shake hands
with her.
Alice did not like shaking hands with either of them
first, for fear of hurting the other one’s feelings; so, as the
best way out of the difficulty, she took hold of both hands at
once: the next moment they were dancing found in a ring.
This seemed quite natural (she remembered afterwards),
and she was not even surprised to hear music playing:it
seemed to come from the tree under which they were danc-
ing, and it was done (as well as she could make it out) by the
branches rubbing one across the other, like fiddles and fid-
dle-sticks.
‘But it certainly

was

funny,’ (Alice said afterwards,
when she was telling her sister the history of all this,) ‘to
find myself singing “

Here we go round the mulberry
bush

.” I don’t know when I began it, but somehow I felt as if
I’d been singing it a long long time!’
The other two dancers were fat, and very soon out of
breath. ‘Four times round is enough for one dance,’ Twee-
dledum panted out, and they left off dancing as suddenly as
they had begun: the music stopped at the same moment.
Then they let go of Alice’s hands, and stood looking at
her for a minute: there was a rather awkward pause, as Alice
didn’t know how to begin a conversation with people she
had just been dancing with. ‘It would never do to say “How
d’ye do?” ‘

now

,’ she said to herself: ‘we seem to have got
beyond that, somehow!’
‘I hope you’re not much tired?’ she said at last.
‘Nohow. And thank you

very

much for asking,’ said
Tweedledum.
‘So

much

obliged!’ added Tweedledee. ‘You like
poetry?’
‘Ye-es. pretty well—

some

poetry,’ Alice said doubt-
fully. ‘Would you tell me which road leads out of the
wood?’
53

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

‘What shall I repeat to her?’ said Tweedledee, looking
round at Tweedledum with great solemn eyes, and not notic-
ing Alice’s question.
‘”

The walrus and the carpenter

” is the longest,’
Tweedledum replied, giving his brother an affectionate hug.
Tweedledee began instantly:
‘The sun was shining— ’
Here Alice ventured to interrupt him. ‘If it’s

very

long,’
she said, as politely as she could, ‘would you please tell me
first which road—’ Tweedledee smiled gently, and began
again:

‘The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright—
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
54

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

After the day was done --
“It ’s very rude of him,”she said,
“To come and spoil the fun!”

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying over head --
There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
“If this were only cleared away,”
They said, “it would be grand!”

“If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,”the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,”said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
“O Oysters, come and walk with us!”
The Walrus did beseech.
“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.”
The eldest Oyster looked at him.
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head --
55

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat --
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn’t any feet.
Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more --
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
56

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

And waited in a row.
“The time has come,”the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes— and ships— and sealing-wax --
Of cabbages—and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot --
And whether pigs have wings.”
“But wait a bit,”the Oysters cried,
“Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!”
“No hurry!”said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

“A loaf of bread,”the Walrus said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed --
Now if you’re ready Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.”
57

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

“But not on us!”the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue,
“After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!”
“The night is fine,”the Walrus said
“Do you admire the view?
“It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf --
I’ve had to ask you twice!”
“It seems a shame,”the Walrus said,
“To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“The butter’s spread too thick!”
“I weep for you,”the Walrus said.
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size.
Holding his pocket handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
“O Oysters,”said the Carpenter.
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?
”But answer came there none --
And that was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.’
58

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

‘I like the Walrus best,’ said Alice: ‘because you see he
was a

little

sorry for the poor oysters.’
‘He ate more than the Carpenter, though,’ said Tweedle-
dee. ‘You see he held his handkerchief in front, so that the
Carpenter couldn’t count how many he took: contrariwise.’
‘That was mean!’ Alice said indignantly. ‘Then I like the
Carpenter best— if he didn’t eat so many as the Walrus.’
‘But he ate as many as he could get,’ said Tweedledum.
This was a puzzler. After a pause, Alice began, ‘Well!
They were

both

very unpleasant characters— ’ Here she
checked herself in some alarm, at hearing something that
sounded to her like the puffing of a large steam-engine in
the wood near them, thought she feared it was more likely to
be a wild beast. ‘Are there any lions or tigers about here?’
she asked timidly.
‘It’s only the Red King snoring,’ said Tweedledee.
‘Come and look at him!’ the brothers cried, and they
each took one of Alice’s hands, and led her up to where the
King was sleeping.
‘Isn’t he a

loveley

sight?” said Tweedledum.
Alice couldn’t say honestly that he was. He had a tall
red night-cap on, with a tassel, and he was lying crumpled
up into a sort of untidy heap, and snoring loud— ‘fit to
snore his head off!’ as Tweedledum remarked.
59

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

‘I’m afraid he’ll catch cold with lying on the damp
grass,’ said Alice, who was a very thoughtful little girl.
‘He’s dreaming now,’ said Tweedledee: ‘and what do
you think he’s dreaming about?’
Alice said ‘Nobody can guess that.’
‘Why, about

you

!’ Tweedledee exclaimed, clapping
his hands triumphantly. ‘And if he left off dreaming about
you, where do you suppose you’d be?’
‘Where I am now, of course,’ said Alice.
‘Not you!’ Tweedledee retorted contemptuously.
‘You’d be nowhere. Why, you’re only a sort of thing in his
dream!’
‘If that there King was to wake,’ added Tweedledum,
‘you’d go out— bang!— just like a candle!’
‘I shouldn’t!’ Alice exclaimed indignantly. ‘Besides,
if I’M only a sort of thing in his dream, what are

you

, I
should like to know?’
‘Ditto’ said Tweedledum.
‘Ditto, ditto’ cried Tweedledee.
He shouted this so loud that Alice couldn’t help say-
ing, ‘Hush!
You’ll be waking him, I’m afraid, if you make so much
noise.’
‘Well, it no use

your

talking about waking him,’ said
Tweedledum, ‘when you’re only one of the things in his
dream. You know very well you’re not real.’
‘I

am

real!’ said Alice and began to cry.
‘You won’t make yourself a bit realler by crying,’
Tweedledee remarked: ‘there’s nothing to cry about.’
‘If I wasn’t real,’ Alice said—half-laughing though her
tears, it all seemed so ridiculous— ‘I shouldn’t be able to
cry.’
‘I hope you don’t suppose those are real tears?’ Twee-
dledum interrupted in a tone of great contempt.
‘I know they’re talking nonsense,’ Alice thought to her-
self: ‘and it’s foolish to cry about it.’ So she brushed away
60

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

her tears, and went on as cheerfully as she could. ‘At any
rate I’d better be getting out of the wood, for really it’s com-
ing on very dark. Do you think it’s going to rain?’
Tweedledum spread a large umbrella over himself and
his brother, and looked up into it. ‘No, I don’t think it is,’ he
said: ‘at least— not under

here

. Nohow.’
‘But it may rain

outside

?’
‘It may— if it chooses,’ said Tweedledee: ‘we’ve no
objection. Contrariwise.’
‘Selfish things!’ thought Alice, and she was just going to
say ‘Good-night’ and leave them, when Tweedledum sprang
out from under the umbrella and seized her by the wrist.
‘Do you see

that

?’ he said, in a voice choking with pas-
sion, and his eyes grew large and yellow all in a moment, as
he pointed with a trembling finger at a small white thing
lying under the tree.
‘It’s only a rattle,’ Alice said, after a careful examination
of the little white thing. ‘Not a rattle

snake

, you know,’ she
added hastily, thinking that he was frightened: only an old
rattle— quite old and broken.’
‘I knew it was!’ cried Tweedledum, beginning to stamp
about wildly and tear his hair. ‘It’s spoilt, of course!’ Here
61

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

he looked at Tweedledee, who immediately sat down on the
ground, and tried to hide himself under the umbrella.
Alice laid her hand upon his arm, and said in a soothing
tone, ‘You needn’t be so angry about an old rattle.’
‘But it isn’t old!’ Tweedledum cried, in a greater fury
than ever. ‘It’s new, I tell you— I bought it yesterday— my
nice New

rattle

!’ and his voice rose to a perfect scream.
All this time Tweedledee was trying his best to fold up
the umbrella, with himself in it: which was such an extraor-
dinary thing to do, that it quite took off Alice’s attention
from the angry brother. But he couldn’t quite succeed, and it
ended in his rolling over, bundled up in the umbrella, with
only his head out: and there he lay, opening and shutting his
mouth and his large eyes— ’looking more like a fish than
anything else,’ Alice thought.
‘Of course you agree to have a battle?’ Tweedledum said
in a calmer tone.
‘I suppose so,’ the other sulkily replied, as he crawled
out of the umbrella: ‘only

she

must help us to dress up, you
know.’
So the two brothers went off hand-in-hand into the
wood, and returned in a minute with their arms full of
things— such as bolsters, blankets, hearth-rugs, table-
cloths, dish-covers and coal-scuttles. ‘I hope you’re a good
hand a pinning and tying strings?’ Tweedledum remarked.
‘Every one of these things has got to go on, somehow or
other.’
Alice said afterwards she had never seen such a fuss
made about anything in all her life— the way those two bus-
tled about— and the quantity of things they put on— and
the trouble they gave her in tying strings and fastening but-
tons— ‘Really they’ll be more like bundles of old clothes
that anything else, by the time they’re ready!’ she said to
herself, as he arranged a bolster round the neck of Tweedle-
dee, ‘to keep his head from being cut off,’ as he said.
62

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

‘You know,’ he added very gravely, ‘it’s one of the most
serious things that can possibly happen to one in a battle—
to get one’s head cut off.’
Alice laughed loud: but she managed to turn it into a
cough, for fear of hurting his feelings.
‘Do I look very pale?’ said Tweedledum, coming up to
have his helmet tied on. (He

called

it a helmet, though it cer-
tainly looked much more like a saucepan.)
‘Well— yes— a

little

,’ Alice replied gently.
‘I’m very brave generally,’ he went on in a low voice:
‘only to-day I happen to have a headache.’
‘And

I’ve

got a toothache!’ said Tweedledee, who had
overheard the remark. ‘I’m far worse off than you!’
‘Then you’d better not fight to-day,’ said Alice, thinking
it a good opportunity to make peace.
‘We

must

have a bit of a fight, but I don’t care about
going on long,’ said Tweedledum. ‘What’s the time now?’
Tweedledee looked at his watch, and said ‘Half-past
four.’
‘Let’s fight till six, and then have dinner,’ said Tweedle-
dum. ‘Very well,’ the other said, rather sadly: ‘and

she

can
watch us— only you’d better not come

very

close,’ he
63

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

added: ‘I generally hit everything I can see— when I get
really excited.’
‘And

I

hit everything within reach,’ cried Tweedledum,
‘whether I can see it or not!’
Alice laughed. ‘You must hit the

trees

pretty often, I
should think,’ she said.
Tweedledum looked round him with a satisfied smile. I
don’t suppose,’ he said,‘there’ll be a tree left standing, for
ever so far round, by the time we’ve finished!’
‘And all about a rattle!’ said Alice, still hoping to make
them a

little

ashamed of fighting for such a trifle.
‘I shouldn’t have minded it so much,’ said Tweedledum,
‘if it hadn’t been a new one.’
‘I wish the monstrous crow would come!’ though Alice.
‘There’s only one sword, you know,’ Tweedledum said
to his brother: ‘but you can have the umbrella— it’s quite as
sharp. Only we must begin quick. It’s getting as dark as it
can.’
‘And darker.’ said Tweedledee.
It was getting dark so suddenly that Alice thought there
must be a thunderstorm coming on. ‘What a thick black
cloud that is!’ she said. ‘And how fast it comes! Why, I do
believe it’s got wings!’
‘It’s the crow!’ Tweedledum cried out in a shrill voice of
alarm: and the two brothers took to their heels and were out
of sight in a moment.
Alice ran a little way into the wood, and stopped under
a large tree. ‘It can never get at me

here

,’ she thought: ‘it’s
far too large to squeeze itself in among the trees. But I wish
it wouldn’t flap its wings so— it make quite a hurricane in
the wood— here’s somebody’s shawl being blown away!’
64

CH AP TER V

Wool and Water

She caught the shawl as she spoke, and looked about for
the owner: in another moment the White Queen came run-
ning wildly through the wood, with both arms stretched out
wide, as if she were flying, and Alice very civilly went to
meet her with the shawl.
‘I’m very glad I happened to be in the way,’ Alice said,
as she helped her to put onher shawl again.
The White Queen only looked at her in a helpless fright-
ened sort of way, and kept repeating something in a whisper
to herself that sounded like ‘bread-and-butter, bread-and-
butter,’ and Alice felt that if there was to be any conversa-
tion at all, she must manage it herself. So she began rather
timidly: ‘Am I addressing the White Queen?’
65

Wool and Water

‘Well, yes, if you call that a-dressing,’ The Queen said.
‘It isn’t

my

notion of the thing, at all.”
Alice thought it would never do to have an argument at
the very beginning of their conversation, so she smiled and
said, ‘If your Majesty will only tell me the right way to
begin, I’ll do it as well as I can.’
‘But I don’t want it done at all!’ groaned the poor
Queen. ‘I’ve been a-dressing myself for the last two hours.’
It would have been all the better, as it seemed to Alice, if
she had got some one else to dress her, she was so dread-
fully untidy. ‘Every single thing’s crooked,’ Alice thought to
herself, ‘and she’s all over pins!— may I put your shawl
straight for you?’ she added aloud.
‘I don’t know what’s the matter with it!’ the Queen said,
in a melancholy voice. ‘It’s out of temper, I think. I’ve
pinned it here, and I’ve pinned it there, but there’s no pleas-
ing it!’
‘It

can’t

go straight, you know, if you pin it all on one
side,’ Alice said, as she gently put it right for her; ‘and, dear
me, what a state your hair is in!’
‘The brush has got entangled in it!’ the Queen said with
a sigh. ‘And I lost the comb yesterday.’
Alice carefully released the brush, and did her best to
get the hair into order. ‘Come, you look rather better now!’
she said, after altering most of the pins. ‘But really you
should have a lady’s maid!’
‘I’m sure I’ll take you with pleasure!’ the Queen said.
‘Twopence a week, and jam every other day.’
Alice couldn’t help laughing, as she said, ‘I don’t want
you to hire

me

—and I don’t care for jam.’
‘It’s very good jam,’ said the Queen.
‘Well, I don’t want any

to-day

, at any rate.
‘You couldn’t have it if you

did

want it,’ the Queen said.
‘The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday— but never
jam to-day.
66

Wool and Water

‘It

must

come sometimes to “jam do-day,”’ Alice
objected.
‘No, it can’t,’ said the Queen. ‘It’s jam every

other

day:
to-day isn’t any

other

day, you know.’
‘I don’t understand you,’ said Alice. ‘It’s dreadfully con-
fusing!’
‘That’s the effect of living backwards,’ theQueen said
kindly: ‘it always makes one a little giddy at first --
‘Living backwards!’ Alice repeated in great astonish-
ment. ‘I never heard of such a thing!’
‘— but there’s one great advantage in it, that one’s
memory works both ways.’
‘I’m sure

mine

only works one way.’ Alice remarked. ‘I
can’t remember things before they happen.’
‘It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,’
the Queen remarked.
‘What sort of things do

you

remember best?’ Alice ven-
tured to ask.
‘Oh, things that happened the week after next,’ the
Queen replied in a careless tone. ‘For instance, now,’ she
went on, sticking a large piece of plaster [band-aid] on her
67

Wool and Water

finger as she spoke, ‘there’s the King’s Messenger. He’s in
prison now, being punished: and the trial doesn’t even begin
till next Wednesday: and of course the crime comes last of
all.’
‘Suppose he never commits the crime?’ said Alice.
‘That would be all the better wouldn’t it?’ the Queen
said, as she bound the plaster round her finger with a bit of
ribbon.
Alice felt there was no denying

that

. ‘Of course it
would be all the better,’ she said: ‘but it wouldn’t be all the
better his being punished.’
‘You’re wrong

there

, at any rate,’ said the Queen: ‘were

you

ever punished?’
‘Only for faults,’ said Alice.
‘And you were all the better for it, I know!’ the Queen
said triumphantly.
‘Yes, but then I

had

done the things I was punished for,’
said Alice: ‘that makes all the difference.’
‘But if you

hadn’t

done them,’ the Queen said, ‘that
would have been better still; better, and better, and better!’
Her voice went higher with each ‘better,’ till it got quite to a
squeak at last.
Alice was just beginning to say ‘There’s a mistake
somewhere-,’ when the Queen began screaming so loud that
she had to leave the sentence unfinished. ‘Oh, oh, oh!’
shouted the Queen, shaking her hand about as if she wanted
to shake it off. ‘My finger’s bleeding! Oh, oh, oh, oh!’
Her screams were so exactly like the whistle of a steam-
engine, that Alice had to hold both her hands over her ears.
‘What

is

the matter?’ she said, as soon as there was a
chance of making herself heard. ‘Have you pricked your fin-
ger?’
‘I haven’t pricked it

yet

,’ the Queen said, ‘but I soon
shall - - oh, oh, oh!’
‘When do you expect to do it?’ Alice asked, feeling very
much inclined to laugh.
68

Wool and Water

‘When I fasten my shawl again,’ the poor Queen
groaned out: ‘the brooch will come undone directly. Oh,
oh!’ As she said the words the brooch flew open, and the
Queen clutched wildly at it, and tried to clasp it again.
‘Take care!’ cried Alice. ‘You’re holding it all crooked!’
And she caught at the brooch; but it was too late: the pin had
slipped, and the Queen had pricked her finger.
‘That accounts for the bleeding, you see,’ she said to
Alice with a smile. ‘Now you understand the way things
happen here.’
‘But why don’t you scream now?’ Alice asked, holding
her hands ready to put over her ears again.
‘Why, I’ve done all the screaming already,’ said the
Queen. ‘What would be the good of having it all over
again?’
By this time it was getting light. ‘The crow must have
flown away, I think,’ said Alice: ‘I’m so glad it’s gone. I
thought it was the night coming on.’
‘I wish

I

could manage to be glad!’ the Queen said.
‘Only I never can remember the rule. You must be very
happy, living in this wood, and being glad whenever you
like!’
‘Only it is so

very

lonely here!’ Alice said in a melan-
choly voice; and at the thought of her loneliness two large
tears came rolling down her cheeks.
‘Oh, don’t go on like that!’ cried the poor Queen, wring-
ing her hands in despair. ‘Consider what a great girl you are.
Consider what a long way you’ve come to-day. Consider
what o’clock it is. Consider anything, only don’t cry!’
Alice could not help laughing at this, even in the midst
of her tears. ‘Can

you

keep from crying by considering
things?’ she asked.
‘That’s the way it’s done,’ the Queen said with great
decision: ‘nobody can do two things at once, you know.
Let’s consider you age to begin with— how old are you?’
‘I‘m seven and a half exactly.’
69

Wool and Water

‘You needn’t say “exactually,”’ the Queen remarked: ‘I
can believe it without that. Now I’ll give

you

something to
believe. I’m just one hundred and one, five months and a
day.’
‘I can’t believe

that

!’ said Alice.
‘Can’t you?’ the Queen said in a pitying tone. ‘Try
again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.’
Alice laughed. ‘There’s not use trying,’ she said: ‘one

can’t

believe impossible things.’
‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the
Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-
hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six
impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl
again!’
The brooch had come undone as she spoke, and a sud-
den gust of wind blew the Queen’s shawl across a little
70

Wool and Water

brook. The Queen spread out her arms again, and went fly-
ing after it, and this time she succeeded in catching it for
herself. ‘I’ve got!’ she cried in a triumphant tone. ‘Now you
shall see me pin it on again, all by myself!’
‘Then I hope your finger is better now?’ Alice said very
politely, as she crossed the little brook after the Queen.
‘Oh, much better!’ cried the Queen, her voice rising to a
squeak as she went on. ‘Much be-etter! Be-etter! Be-e-e-
etter! Be-e-ehh!’ The last word ended in a long bleat, so like
a sheep that Alice quite started.
She looked at the Queen, who seemed to have suddenly
wrapped herself up in wool. Alice rubbed her eyes, and
looked again. She couldn’t make out what had happened at
all. Was she in a shop? And was that really - was it really a

sheep

that was sitting on the other side of the counter? Rub
as she could, she could make nothing more of it: she was in
a little dark shop, leaning with her elbows on the counter,
and opposite to her was a old Sheep, sitting in an arm-chair
knitting, and every now and then leaving off to look at her
through a great pair of spectacles.
‘What is it you want to buy?’ the Sheep said at last,
looking up for a moment from her knitting.
‘I don’t

quite

know yet,’ Alice said, very gently. I
should like to look all round me first, if I might.’
‘You may look in front of you, and on both sides, if you
like,’ said the Sheep: ‘but you can’t look

all

round you—
unless you’ve got eyes at the back of your head.’
But these, as it happened, Alice had

not

got: so she con-
tented herself with turning round, looking at the shelves as
she came to them.
The shop seemed to be full of all manner of curious
things— but the oddest part of it all was, that whenever she
looked hard at any shelf, to make out exactly what it had on
it, that particular shelf was always quite empty: though the
others round it were crowded as full as they could hold.
71

Wool and Water

‘Things flow about so here!’ she said at last in a plain-
tive tone, after she had spent a minute or so in vainly pursu-
ing a large bright thing, that looked sometimes like a doll
and sometimes like a work-box, and was always in the shelf
next above the one she was looking at. ‘And this one is the
most provoking of all— but I’ll tell you what— ’ she added,
as a sudden thought struck her, ‘I’ll follow it up to the very
top shelf of all. It’ll puzzle it to go through the ceiling, I
expect!’
But even this plan failed: the ‘thing’ went through the
ceiling as quietly as possible, as if it were quite used to it.
‘Are you a child or a teetotum?’ the Sheep said, as she
took up another pair of needles. ‘You’ll make me giddy
soon, if you go on turning round like that.’ She was now
working with fourteen pairs at once, and Alice couldn’t help
looking at her in great astonishment.
‘How

can

she knit with so many?’ the puzzled child
thought to herself. ‘She gets more and more like a porcupine
every minute!’
‘Can you row?’ the Sheep asked, handing her a pair of
knitting- needles as she spoke.
‘Yes, a little— but not on land—and not with needles—
’ Alice was beginning to say, when suddenly the needles
turned into oars in her hands, and she found they were in a
little boat, gliding along between banks: so there was noth-
ing for it but to do her best.
‘Feather!’ cried the Sheep, as she took up another pair of
needles.
This didn’t sound like a remark that needed any answer,
so Alice said nothing, but pulled away. There was something
very queer about the water, she thought, as every now and
then the oars got fast in it, and would hardly come out again.
‘Feather! Feather!’ the Sheep cried again, taking more
needles. ‘You’ll be catching a crab directly.’
‘A dear little crab!’ thought Alice. ‘I should like that.’
72

Wool and Water

‘Didn’t you hear me say “Feather”?’ the Sheep cried
angrily, taking up quite a bunch of needles.
‘Indeed I did,’ said Alice: ‘you’ve said it very often—
and very loud. Please, where

are

the crabs?’
‘In the water, of course!’ said the Sheep, sticking some
of the needles into her hair, as her hands were full. ‘Feather,
I say!’


why

do you say “feather” so often?’ Alice asked at last,
rather vexed. ’I’m not a bird!’
‘You are,‘ said the Sheet: ‘you’re a little goose.’
This offended Alice a little, so there was no more con-
versation for a minute or two, while the boat glided gently
on, sometimes among beds of weeds (which made the oars
stick fast in the water, worse then ever), and sometimes
under trees, but always with the same tall river-banks frown-
ing over their heads.
‘Oh, please! There are some scented rushes!’ Alice cried
in a sudden transport of delight. ‘There really are— and

such

beauties!’
‘You needn’t say “please” to

me

about ‘em’ the Sheep
said, without looking up fromher knitting: ‘I didn’t put ‘em
there, and I’m not going to take ‘em away.’
‘No, but I meant— please, may we wait and pick some?’
Alice pleaded. ‘If you don’t mind stopping the boat for a
minute.’
‘How am

I

to stop it?’ said the Sheep. ‘If you leave off
rowing, it’ll stop of itself.
So the boat was left to drift down the stream as it would,
till it glided gently in among the waving rushes. And then
the little sleeves were carefully rolled up, and the little arms
were plunged in elbow-deep to get the rushes a good long
way down before breaking them off— and for a while Alice
forgot all about the Sheep and the knitting, as she bent over
the side of the boat, with just the ends of her tangled hair
dipping into the water— while with bright eager eyes she
73

Wool and Water

caught at one bunch after another of the darling scented
rushes.
‘I only hope the boat won’t tipple over!’ she said to her-
self. Oh,

what

a lovely one! Only I couldn’t quite reach it.’
‘And it certainly

did

seem a little provoking ( ‘almost as if it
happened on purpose,’ she thought) that, though she man-
aged to pick plenty of beautiful rushes as the boat glided by,
there was always a more lovely one that she couldn’t reach.
‘The prettiest are always further!’ she said at last, with a
sigh at the obstinacy of the rushes in growing so far off, as,
with flushed cheeks and dripping hair and hands, she scram-
74

Wool and Water

bled back into her place, and began to arrange her new-
found treasures.
What mattered it to her just than that the rushes had
begun to fade, and to lose all their scent and beauty, from
the very moment that she picked them? Even real scented
rushes, you know, last only a very little while— and these,
being dream-rushes, melted away almost like snow, as they
lay in heaps at her feet— but Alice hardly noticed this, there
were so many other curious things to think about.
They hadn’t gone much farther before the blade of one
of the oars got fast in the water and

wouldn’t

come out
again (so Alice explained it afterwards), and the conse-
quence was that the handle of it caught her under the chin,
and, in spite of a series of little shrieks of ‘Oh, oh, oh!’ from
poor Alice, it swept her straight off the seat,and down
among the heap of rushes.
However, she wasn’t hurt, and was soon up again: the
Sheep went on with her knitting all the while, just as if noth-
ing had happened. ‘That was a nice crab you caught!’ she
remarked, as Alice got back into her place, very much
relieved to find herself still in the boat.
‘Was it? I didn’t see it,’ Said Alice, peeping cautiously
over the side of the boat into the dark water. ‘I wish it hadn’t
let go— I should so like to see a little crab to take home
with me!’ But the Sheep only laughed scornfully, and went
on with her knitting.
‘Are there many crabs here?’ said Alice.
‘Crabs, and all sorts of things,’ said the Sheep: ‘plenty
of choice, only make up your mind. Now, what

do

you want
to buy?’
‘To buy!’ Alice echoes in a tone that was half astonished
and half frightened— for the oars, and the boat, and the
river, had vanished all in a moment, and she was back again
in the little dark shop.
‘I should like to buy an egg, please,’ she said timidly.
‘How do you sell them?’
75

Wool and Water

‘Fivepence farthing for one— Twopence for two,’ the
Sheep replied.
‘Then two are cheaper than one?’ Alice said in a sur-
prised tone, taking out her purse.
‘Only you

must

eat them both, if you buy two,’ said the
Sheep.
‘Then I’ll have

one

, please,’ said Alice, as she put the
money down on the counter. For she thought to herself,
‘They mightn’t be at all nice, you know.’
The Sheep took the money, and put it away in a box:
then she said ‘I never put things into people’s hands— that
would never do— you must get it for yourself.’ And so say-
ing, she went off to the other end of the shop,and set the egg
upright on a shelf.
‘I wonder

why

it wouldn’t do?’ thought Alice, as she
groped her way among the tables and chairs, for the shop
was very dark towards the end. ‘The egg seems to get fur-
ther away the more I walk towards it. Let me see, is this a
chair? Why, it’s got branches, I declare! How very odd to
find trees growing here! And actually here’s a little brook!
Well, this is the very queerest shop I ever saw!’
So she went on, wondering more and more at every step,
as everything turned into a tree the moment she came up to
it, and she quite expected the egg to do the same.
76

CH AP TER VI

Humpty Dumpty

However, the egg only got larger and larger, and more
and more human: when she had come within a few yards of
it, she saw that it had eyes and a nose and mouth; and when
she had come close to it, she saw clearly that it was

Humpty



Dumpty

himself. ‘It can’t be anybody else!’ she
said to herself. ‘I’m as certain of it, as if his name were writ-
ten all over his face.’
It might have been written a hundred times, easily, on
that enormous face. Humpty Dumpty was sitting with his
legs crossed, like a Turk, on the top of a high wall— such a
narrow one that Alice quite wondered how he could keep his
balance— and, as his eyes were steadily fixed in the oppo-
site direction, and he didn’t take the least notice of her, she
thought he must be a stuffed figure after all.
‘And how exactly like an egg he is!’ she said aloud,
standing with her hands ready to catch him, for she was
every moment expecting him to fall.
‘It’s

very

provoking,’ Humpty Dumpty said after a long
silence, looking away from Alice as he spoke, ‘to be called
an egg—

very

!’
‘I said you

looked

like an egg, Sir,’ Alice gently
explained. ‘And some eggs are very pretty, you know, she
added, hoping to turn her remark into a sort of a compli-
ment.
‘Some people,’ said Humpty Dumpty, looking away
from her as usual, ‘have no more sense than a baby!’
Alice didn’t know what to say to this: it wasn’t at all like
conversation, she thought, as he never said anything to

her

;
in fact, his last remark was evidently addressed to a tree—
so she stood and softly repeated to herself: --
77

Humpty Dumpty

‘Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall:
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King’s horses and all the King’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty in his place again.’

‘That last line is much too long for the poetry,’ she
added, almost out loud, forgetting that Humpty Dumpty
would hear her.
‘Don’t stand there chattering to yourself like that,’
Humpty Dumpty said, looking at her for the first time,’ but
tell me your name and your business.’
‘My

name

is Alice, but— ’
‘It’s a stupid name enough!’ Humpty Dumpty inter-
rupted impatiently. ‘What does it mean?’


must

a name mean something?’ Alice asked doubtfully.
‘Of course it must,’ Humpty Dumpty said with a sort
laugh: ‘

my

name means the shape I am— and a good hand-
some shape it is, too. With a name like your, you might be
any shape, almost.’
‘Why do you sit out here all alone?’ said Alice, not
wishing to begin an argument.
‘Why, because there’s nobody with me!’ cried Humpty
Dumpty. ‘Did you think I didn’t know the answer to

that

?
Ask another.’
‘Don’t you think you’d be safer down on the ground?’
Alice went on, not with any idea of making another riddle,
but simply in her good-natured anxiety for the queer crea-
ture. ‘That wall is so

very

narrow!’
‘What tremendously easy riddles you ask!’ Humpty
Dumpty growled out. ‘Of course I don’t think so! Why, if
ever I

did

fall off - - which there’s no chance of— but

if

I
did— ’ Here he pursed his lips and looked so solemn and
grand that Alice could hardly help laughing. ‘

If

I did fall,’
he went on, ‘

the King has promised me



with his very
own mouth

— to— to— ’ ‘To send all his horses and all his
men,’ Alice interrupted, rather unwisely.
78

Humpty Dumpty

‘Ah, well! They may write such things in a

book

,’
Humpty Dumpty said in a calmer tone. ‘That’s what you
call a History of England, that is. Now, take a good look at
me! I’m one that has spoken to a King,

I

am: mayhap you’ll
never see such another: and to show you I’m not proud, you
may shake hands with me!’ And he grinned almost from ear
to ear, as he leant forwards (and as nearly as possible fell of
the wall in doing so) and offered Alice his hand. She
watched him a little anxiously as she took it. ‘If he smiled
much more, the ends of his mouth might meet behind,’
shethought: ‘and then I don’t know what would happen to
his head! I’m afraid it would come off!’

‘Now I declare that’s
too bad!’ Humpty Dumpty
cried, breaking into a sud-
den passion. ‘You’ve been
listening at doors— and
behind trees— and sown
chimneys— or you couldn’t
have known it!’
‘I haven’t, indeed!’
Alice said very gently. ‘It’s
in a book.’
79

Humpty Dumpty

‘Yes, all his horses and all his men,’ Humpty Dumpty
went on. ‘They’d pick me up again in a minute,

they

would!
However, this conversation is going on a little too fast: let’s
go back to the last remark but one.’
‘I’m afraid I can’t quite remember it,’ Alice said very
politely.
‘In that case we start fresh,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘and
it’s my turn to choose a subject— ’ (‘He talks about it just as
if it was a game!’ thought Alice.) ‘So here’s a question for
you. How old did you say you were?’
Alice made a short calculation, and said ‘Seven years
and six months.’
‘Wrong!’ Humpty Dumpty exclaimed triumphantly.
‘You never said a word like it!’
‘I though you meant “How old

are

you?”’ Alice
explained.
‘If I’d meant that, I’d have said it,’ said Humpty
Dumpty.
Alice didn’t want to begin another argument, so she said
nothing.
‘Seven years and six months!’ Humpty Dumpty
repeated thoughtfully. ‘An uncomfortable sort of age. Now
if you’d asked

my

advice, I’d have said “Leave off at
seven”— but it’s too late now.’
‘I never ask advice about growing,’ Alice said Indig-
nantly.
‘Too proud?’ the other inquired.
Alice felt even more indignant at this suggestion.
‘I mean,’ she said, ‘that one can’t help growing older.’


One

can’t, perhaps,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘but

two


can. With proper assistance, you might have left off at
seven.’
‘What a beautiful belt you’ve got on!’ Alice suddenly
remarked. (They had had quite enough of the subject of age,
she thought: and if they really were to take turns in choosing
subjects, it was her turn now.) ‘At least,’ she corrected her-
80

Humpty Dumpty

self on second thoughts, ‘a beautiful cravat, I should have
said— no, a belt, I mean— I beg your pardon!’ she added in
dismay, for Humpty Dumpty looked thoroughly offended,
and she began to wish she hadn’t chosen that subject. ‘If I
only knew,’ the thought to herself, ’which was neck and
which was waist!’
Evidently Humpty Dumpty was very angry, though he
said nothing for a minute or two. When he

did

speak again,
it was in a deep growl.
‘It is a—

most



provoking

— thing,’ he said at last,
‘when a person doesn’t know a cravat from a belt!’
‘I know it’s very ignorant of me,’ Alice said, in so hum-
ble a tone that Humpty Dumpty relented.
‘It’s a cravat, child, and a beautiful one, as you say. It’s a
present from the White King and Queen. There now!’
‘Is it really?’ said Alice, quite pleased to find that she

had

chosen a good subject, after all.
‘They gave it me,’ Humpty Dumpty continued thought-
fully, as he crossed one knee over the other and clasped his
hands round it, ‘they gave it me— for an un-birthday
present.’
‘I beg your pardon?’ Alice said with a puzzled air.
‘I’m not offended,’ said Humpty Dumpty.
‘I mean, what

is

and un-birthday present?’
‘A present given when it isn’t your birthday, of course.’
Alice considered a little. ‘I like birthday presents best,’
she said at last.
‘You don’t know what you’re talking about!’ cried
Humpty Dumpty. ‘How many days are there in a year?’
‘Three hundred and sixty-five,’ said Alice.
‘And how many birthdays have you?’
‘One.’
‘And if you take one from three hundred and sixty-five,
what remains?’
81

Humpty Dumpty

‘Three hundred and sixty-four, of course.’ Humpty
Dumpty looked doubtful. ‘I’d rather see that done on paper,’
he said.
Alice couldn’t help smiling as she took out her memo-
randum- book, and worked the sum for him:
365
- 1

364

Humpty Dumpty took the book, and looked at it care-
fully. ‘That seems to be done right— ’ he began.
‘You’re holding it upside down!’ Alice interrupted.
‘To be sure I was!’ Humpty Dumpty said gaily, as she
turned it round for him. ‘I thought it looked a little queer. As
I was saying, that

seems

to be done right— though I haven’t
time to look it over thoroughly just now— and that shows
that there are three hundred and sixty-four days when you
might get un-birthday presents— ’
‘Certainly,’ said Alice.
‘And only

one

for birthday presents, you know. There’s
glory for you!’
‘I don’t know what you mean by “glory,”’ Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. ‘Of course
you don’t— till I tell you. I meant “there’s a nice knock-
down argument for you!”’
‘But “glory” doesn’t mean “a nice knock-down argu-
ment,”’ Alice objected.
‘When

I

use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a
scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean— nei-
ther more nor less.’
‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you

can

make
words mean so many different things.’
‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be
master - - that’s all.’
82

Humpty Dumpty

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a
minute Humpty Dumpty began again. ‘They’ve a temper,
some of them— particularly verbs, they’re the proudest—
adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs— how-
ever,

I

can manage the whole of them! Impenetrability!
That’s what

I

say!’
‘Would you tell me, please,’ said Alice ‘what that
means?‘
‘Now you talk like a reasonable child,’ said Humpty
Dumpty, looking very much pleased. ‘I meant by “impene-
trability” that we’ve had enough of that subject, and it
would be just as well if you’d mention what you mean to do
next, as I suppose you don’t mean to stop here all the rest of
your life.’
‘That’s a great deal to make one word mean,’ Alice said
in a thoughtful tone.
‘When I make a word do a lot of work like that,’ said
Humpty Dumpty, ‘I always pay it extra.’
‘Oh!’ said Alice. She was too much puzzled to make any
other remark.
‘Ah, you should see ‘em come round me of a Saturday
night,’ Humpty Dumpty went on, wagging his head gravely
from side to side: ‘for to get their wages, you know.’
(Alice didn’t venture to ask what he paid them with; and
so you see I can’t tell

you

.)
‘You seem very clever at explaining words, Sir,’ said
Alice. ‘Would you kindly tell me the meaning of the poem
called “Jabberwocky”?’
‘Let’s hear it,’ said Humpty Dumpty. ‘I can explain all
the poems that were ever invented— and a good many that
haven’t been invented just yet.’
This sounded very hopeful, so Alice repeated the first
verse:

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
83

Humpty Dumpty

All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

‘That’s enough to begin with,’ Humpty Dumpty inter-
rupted: ‘there are plenty of hard words there. “

brillig


means four o’clock in the afternoon— the time when you
begin

“broiling

” things for dinner.’
‘That’ll do very well,’ said Alice: and “

slithy

”?’
‘Well, “

slithy

” means “lithe and slimy.” “Lithe” is the
same as “active.” You see it’s like a portmanteau— there are
two meanings packed up into one word.’
‘I see it now,’ Alice remarked thoughtfully: ‘and what
are “

toves

”?’
‘Well, “

toves

’ are something like badgers— they’re
something like lizards— and they’re something like cork-
screws.’
‘They must be very curious looking creatures.’
‘They are that,’ said Humpty Dumpty: ‘also they make
their nests under sun-dials— also they live on cheese.’
‘And what’s the “

gyre

” and to “

gimble

”?’
‘To “

gyre

” is to go round and round like a gyroscope. To


gimble

” is to make holes like a gimblet.’
‘And “

the wabe

” is the grass-plot round a sun-dial, I
suppose?’ said Alice, surprised at her own ingenuity.
‘Of course it is. It’s called “

wabe

,” you know, because it
goes a long way before it, and a long way behind it— ’
‘And a long way beyond it on each side,’ Alice added.
‘Exactly so. Well, then, “

mimsy

” is “flimsy and misera-
ble” (there’s another portmanteau for you). And a


borogove

” is a thing shabby-looking bird with its feathers
sticking out all round— something like a live mop.’
‘And then “

mome raths

”?’ said Alice. ‘I’m afraid I’m
giving you a great deal of trouble.’
‘Well, a “

rath

” is a sort of green pig: but “

mome

” I’m
not certain about. I think it’s short for “from home”—
meaning that they’d lost their way, you know.’
84

Humpty Dumpty

‘And what does “

outgrabe

” mean?’
‘Well, “

outgribing

” is something between bellowing
and whistling, with a kind of sneeze in the middle: however,
you’ll hear it done, maybe— down in the wood yonder—
and when you’ve once heard it you’ll be

quite

content.
Who’s been repeating all that hard stuff to you?’
‘I read it in a book,’ said Alice. ‘But I had some poetry
repeated to me, much easier than that, by— Tweedledee, I
think it was.’
‘As to poetry, you know,’ said Humpty Dumpty, stretch-
ing out one of his great hands, ‘

I

can repeat poetry as well
as other folk, if it comes to that— ’
‘Oh, it needn’t come to that!’ Alice hastily said, hoping
to keep him from beginning.
‘The piece I’m going to repeat,’ he went on without
noticing her remark,’ was written entirely for your amuse-
ment.’
Alice felt that in that case she really

ought

to listen to it,
so she sat down, and said ‘Thank you’ rather sadly.

‘In winter, when the fields are white,
I sing this song for your delight--

only I don’t sing it,’ he added, as an explanation.
‘I see you don’t,’ said Alice.
‘If you can

see

whether I’m singing or not, you’re
sharper eyes than most.’ Humpty Dumpty remarked
severely. Alice was silent.

‘In spring, when woods are getting green,
I’ll try and tell you what I mean.’

‘Thank you very much,’ said Alice.

‘In summer, when the days are long,
Perhaps you’ll understand the song:
85

Humpty Dumpty

In autumn, when the leaves are brown,
Take pen and ink, and write it down.’

‘I will, if I can remember it so long,’ said Alice.
‘You needn’t go on making remarks like that,’ Humpty
Dumpty said: ‘they’re not sensible, and they put me out.’

‘I sent a message to the fish:
I told them “This is what I wish.”
The little fishes of the sea,
They sent an answer back to me.
86

Humpty Dumpty

The little fishes’answer was”
We cannot do it, Sir, because— “’

‘I’m afraid I don’t quite understand,’ said Alice.
‘It gets easier further on,’ Humpty Dumpty replied.

‘I sent to them again to say
“It will be better to obey.”
The fishes answered with a grin,
“Why, what a temper you are in!”
I told them once, I told them twice:
They would not listen to advice.
I took a kettle large and new,
Fit for the deed I had to do.
My heart went hop, my heart went thump;
I filled the kettle at the pump.
Then some one came to me and said,
“The little fishes are in bed.”
I said to him, I said it plain,
“Then you must wake them up again.”
I said it very loud and clear;
I went and shouted in his ear.’

Humpty Dumpty raised his voice almost to a scream as
he repeated this verse, and Alice thought with a shudder, ‘I
wouldn’t have been the messenger for

anything

!’

‘But he was very stiff and proud;
He said “You needn’t shout so loud!”
87

Humpty Dumpty

And he was very proud and stiff;
He said “I’d go and wake them, if—
“I took a corkscrew from the shelf:
I went to wake them up myself.
And when I found the door was locked,
I pulled and pushed and knocked.
And when I found the door was shut,
I t ried to turn the handle, but— ’

There was a long pause.
‘Is that all?’ Alice timidly asked.
‘That’s all,’ said Humpty Dumpty. Good-bye.’
This was rather sudden, Alice thought: but, after such a

very

strong hint that she ought to be going, she felt that it
would hardly be civil to stay. So she got up, and held out her
hand. ‘Good-bye, till we meet again!’ she said as cheerfully
as she could.
‘I shouldn’t know you again if we

did

meet,’ Humpty
Dumpty replied in a discontented tone, giving her one of his
fingers to shake; ‘you’re so exactly like other people.’
‘The face is what one goes by, generally,’ Alice
remarked in a thoughtful tone.
‘That‘s just what I complain of,’ said Humpty Dumpty.
‘Your face is that same as everybody has— the two eyes,
so— ’ (marking their places in the air with this thumb)
‘nose in the middle, mouth under. It’s always the same. Now
if you had the two eyes on the same side of the nose, for
instance—or the mouth at the top— that would be

some


help.’
‘It wouldn’t look nice,’ Alice objected. But Humpty
Dumpty only shut his eyes and said ‘Wait till you’ve tried.’
Alice waited a minute to see if he would speak again,
but as he never opened his eyes or took any further notice of
88

Humpty Dumpty

her, she said ‘Good-bye!’ once more, and, getting no answer
to this, she quietly walked away: but she couldn’t help say-
ing to herself as she went, ‘Of all the unsatisfactory— ’ (she
repeated this aloud, as it was a great comfort have such a
long word to say) ‘of all the unsatisfactory people I

ever


met— ’ She never finished the sentence, for at this moment
a heavy crash shook the forest from end to end.
89

CH AP TER VII

The Lion and the Unicorn

The next moment soldiers came running through the
wood, at first in twos and threes, then ten or twenty together,
and at last in such crowds that they seemed to fill the whole
forest. Alice got behind a tree, for fear of being run over,
and watched them go by.
She thought that in all her life she had never seen sol-
diers so uncertain on their feet: they were always tripping
over something or other, and whenever one went down, sev-
eral more always fell over him, so that the ground was soon
covered with little heaps of men.
Then came the horses. Having four feet, these managed
rather better than the foot-soldiers: but even

they

stumbled
now and then; and it seemed to be a regular rule that, when-
ever a horse stumbled the rider fell off instantly. The confu-
sion got worse every moment, and Alice was very glad to
get out of the wood into an open place, where she found the
White King seated on the ground, busily writing in his
memorandum-book.
‘I’ve sent them all!’ the King cried in a tone of delight,
on seeing Alice. ‘Did you happen to meet any soldiers, my
dear, as you came through the wood?’
‘Yes, I did,’ said Alice: several thousand, I should think.’
‘Four thousand two hundred and seven, that’s the exact
number,’ the King said, referring to his book. ‘I couldn’t
send all the horses, you know, because two of them are
wanted in the game. And I haven’t sent the two Messengers,
either. They’re both gone to the town. Just look along the
road, and tell me if you can see either of them.’
‘I see nobody on the road,’ said Alice.
‘I only wish

I

had such eyes,’ the King remarked in a
fretful tone. ‘To be able to see Nobody! And at that distance,
90

The Lion and the Unicorn

too! Why, it’s as much as

I

can do to see real people, by this
light!’
All this was lost on Alice, who was still looking intently
along the road, shading her eyes with one hand. ‘I see some-
body now!’ she exclaimed at last. ‘But he’s coming very
slowly— and what curious attitudes he goes into!’ (For the
messenger kept skipping up and down, and wriggling like
an eel, as he came along, with his great hands spread out
like fans on each side.)
‘Not at all,’ said the King. ‘He’s an Anglo-Saxon Mes-
senger— and those are Anglo-Saxon attitudes. He only does
91

The Lion and the Unicorn

them when he’s happy. His name ia Haigha.’ (He pro-
nounced it so as to rhyme with ‘mayor.’
‘I love my love with an H,’ Alice couldn’t help begin-
ning,’ because he is Happy. I hate him with an H, because he
is Hideous. I fed him with— with— with Ham-sandwiches
and Hay. His name is Haigha, and he lives— ’
‘He lives on the Hill,’ the King remarked simply, with-
out the least idea that he was joining in the game, while
Alice was still hesitating for the name of a town beginning
with H. ‘The other Messenger’s called Hatta. I must have

two

, you know— to come and go. Once to come, and one to
go.’
‘I beg your pardon?’ said Alice.
‘It isn’t respectable to beg,’ said the King.
‘I only meant that I didn’t understand,’ said Alice. ‘Why
one to come and one to go?’
‘Don’t I tell you?’ the King repeated impatiently. ‘I
must have Two— to fetch and carry. One to fetch, and one
to carry.’
At this moment the Messenger arrived: he was far too
much out of breath to say a word, and could only wave his
hands about, and make the most fearful faces at the poor
King.
‘This young lady loves you with an H,’ the King said,
introducing Alice in the hope of turning off the Messenger’s
attention from himself— but it was no use— the Anglo-
Saxon attitudes only got more extraordinary every moment,
while the great eyes rolled wildly from side to side.
‘You alarm me!’ said the King. ‘I feel faint— Give me a
ham sandwich!’
On which the Messenger, to Alice’s great amusement,
opened a bag that hung round his neck, and handed a sand-
wich to the King, who devoured it greedily.
‘Another sandwich!’ said the King.
‘There’s nothing but hay left now,’ the Messenger said,
peeping into the bag.
92

The Lion and the Unicorn

‘Hay, then,’ the King murmured in a faint whisper.
Alice was glad to see that it revived him a good deal.
‘There’s nothing like eating hay when you’re faint,’ he
remarked to her, as he munched away.
‘I should think throwing cold water over you would be
better,’ Alice suggested: ‘or some sal-volatile.’
‘I didn’t say there was nothing

better

,’ the King replied.
‘I said there was nothing

like

it.’ Which Alice did not ven-
ture to deny.
‘Who did you pass on the road?’ the King went on,
holding out his hand to the Messenger for some more hay.
‘Nobody,’ said the Messenger.
‘Quite right,’ said the King: ‘this young lady saw him
too. So of course Nobody walks slower than you.
‘I do my best,’ the Messenger said in a sulky tone. ‘I’m
sure nobody walks much faster than I do!’
‘He can’t do that,’ said the King, ‘or else he’d have been
here first. However, now you’ve got your breath, you may
tell us what’s happened in the town.’
93

The Lion and the Unicorn

‘I’ll whisper it,’ said the Messenger, putting his hands to
his mouth in the shape of a trumpet, and stooping so as to
get close to the King’s ear. Alice was sorry for this, as she
wanted to hear the news too. However, instead of whisper-
ing, he simply shouted at the top of his voice ‘They’re at it
again!’
‘Do you call

that

a whisper?’ cried the poor King,
jumping up and shaking himself. ‘If you do such a thing
again, I’ll have you buttered! It went through and through
my head like an earthquake!’
‘It would have to be a very tiny earthquake!’ thought
Alice. ‘Who are at it again?’ she ventured to ask.
‘Why the Lion and the Unicorn, of course,’ said the
King.
‘Fighting for the crown?’
‘Yes, to be sure,’ said the King: ‘and the best of the joke
is, that it’s

my

crown all the while! Let’s run and see them.’
And they trotted off, Alice repeating to herself, as she ran,
the words of the old song: --

‘The Lion and the Unicorn were fighting for the crown:
The Lion beat the Unicorn all round the town.
Some gave them white bread, some gave them brown;
Some gave them plum-cake and drummed them out of town.’

‘Does— the one— that wins—get the crown?’ she
asked, as well as she could, for the run was putting her quite
out of breath.
‘Dear me, no!’ said the King. ‘What an idea!’
‘Would you— be good enough,’ Alice panted out, after
running a little further, ‘to stop a minute— just to get—
one’s breath again?’
‘I’m

good

enough,’ the King said, ‘only I’m not strong
enough. You see, a minute goes by so fearfully quick. You
might as well try to stop a Bandersnatch!’
94

The Lion and the Unicorn

Alice had no more breath for talking, so the trotted on in
silence, till they came in sight of a great crowd, in the mid-
dle of which the Lion and Unicorn were fighting. They were
in such a cloud of dust, that at first Alice could not make out
which was which: but she soon managed to distinguish the
Unicorn by his horn.
They placed themselves close to where Hatta, the other
messenger, was standing watching the fight, with a cup of
tea in one hand and a piece of bread-and-butter in the other.
‘He’s only just out of prison, and he hadn’t finished his
tea when he was sent in,’ Haigha whispered to Alice: ‘and
they only give them oyster-shells in there— so you see he’s
very hungry and thirsty. How are you, dear child?’ he went
on, putting his arm affectionately round Hatta’s neck.
Hatta looked round and nodded, and went on with his
bread and butter.
‘Were you happy in prison, dear child?’ said Haigha.
Hatta looked round once more, and this time a tear or
two trickled down his cheek: but not a word would he say.
95

The Lion and the Unicorn

‘Speak, can’t you!’ Haigha cried impatiently. But Hatta
only munched away, and drank some more tea.
‘Speak, won’t you!’ cried the King. ’How are they get-
ting on with the fight?’
Hatta made a desperate effort, and swallowed a large
piece of bread-and-butter. ‘They’re getting on very well,’ he
said in a choking voice: ‘each of them has been down about
eighty-seven times.’
‘Then I suppose they’ll soon bring the white bread and
the brown?’ Alice ventured to remark.
‘It’s waiting for ’em now,’ said Hatta: ‘this is a bit of it
as I’m eating.’
There was a pause in the fight just then, and the Lion
and the Unicorn sat down, panting, while the King called
out ‘Ten minutes allowed for refreshments!’ Haigha and
Hatta set to work at once, carrying rough trays of white and
brown bread. Alice took a piece to taste, but it was

very

dry.
‘I don’t think they’ll fight any more to-day,’ the King
said to Hatta: ‘go and order the drums to begin.’ And Hatta
went bounding away like a grasshopper.
For a minute or two Alice stood silent, watching him.
Suddenly she brightened up. ‘Look, look!’ she cried, point-
ing eagerly. “There’s the White Queen running across the
country! She came flying out of the wood over yonder—
How fast those Queens

can

run!’
‘There’s some enemy after, her no doubt,’ the King said,
without even looking round. ‘That wood’s full of them.’
‘But aren’t you going to run and help her?’ Alice asked,
very much surprised at his taking it so quietly.
‘No use, no use!’ said the King. ‘She runs so fearfully
quick. You might as well try to catch a Bandersnatch! But
I’ll make a memorandum about her, if you like— She’s a
dear good creature,’ he repeated softly to himself, as he
opened his memorandum-book. ‘Do you spell “creature”
with a double “e”?’
96

The Lion and the Unicorn

At this moment the Unicorn sauntered by them, with his
hands in his pockets. ‘I had the best of it this time?’ he said
to the King, just glancing at him as he passed.
‘A little—a little,’ the King replied, rather nervously.
‘You shouldn’t have run him through with your horn, you
know.’
‘It didn’t hurt him,’ the Unicorn said carelessly, and he
was going on, when his eye happened to fall upon Alice: he
turned round rather instantly, and stood for some time look-
ing at her with an air of the deepest disgust.
‘What— is— this?’ he said at last.
‘This is a child!’ Haigha replied eagerly, coming in front
of Alice to introduce her, and spreading out both his hands
towards her in an Anglo-Saxon attitude. ‘We only found it
to-day. It’s as large as life, and twice as natural!’
‘I always thought they were fabulous monsters!’ said the
Unicorn. ‘Is at alive?’
‘It can talk,’ said Haigha, solemnly.
The Unicorn looked dreamily at Alice, and said ‘Talk,
child.’
97

The Lion and the Unicorn

Alice could not help her lips curing up into a smile as
she began: ‘Do you know, I always thought Unicorns were
fabulous monsters, too! I never saw one alive before!’
‘Well, now that we

have

seen each other,’ said the Uni-
corn, ‘if you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you. Is that a
bargain?’
‘Yes, if you like,’ said Alice.
‘Come, fetch out the plum-cake, old man!’ the Unicorn
went on, turning from her to the King. ‘None of your brown
bread for me!’
‘Certainly— certainly!’ the King muttered, and beck-
oned to Haigha. ‘Open the bag!’ he whispered. ‘Quick! Not
that one— that’s full of hay!’
Haigha took a large cake out of the bag, and gave it to
Alice to hold, while he got out a dish and carving-knife.
How they all came out of it Alice couldn’t guess. It was jus-
tlike a conjuring-trick, she thought.
The Lion had joined them while this was going on: he
looked very tired and sleepy, and his eyes were half shut.
‘What’s this!’ he said, blinking lazily at Alice, and speaking
in a deep hollow tone that sounded like the tolling of a great
bell.
‘Ah, what

is

it, now?’ the Unicorn cried eagerly. ‘You’ll
never guess!

I

couldn’t.’ The Lion looked at Alice wearily.
‘Are you animal— vegetable— or mineral?’ he said, yawn-
ing at every other word.
‘It’s a fabulous monster!’ the Unicorn cried out, before
Alice could reply.
‘Then hand round the plum-cake, Monster,’ the Lion
said, lying down and putting his chin on this paws. ‘And sit
down, both of you,’ (to the King and the Unicorn): ‘fair play
with the cake, you know!’
The King was evidently very uncomfortable at laving to
sit down between the two great creatures; but there was no
other place for him.
98

The Lion and the Unicorn

‘What a fight we might have for the crown,

now

!’ the
Unicorn said, looking slyly up at the crown, which the poor
King was nearly shaking off his head, he trembled so much.
‘I should win easy,’ said the Lion.
‘I’m not so sure of that,’ said the Unicorn.
‘Why, I beat you all round the town, you chicken!’ the
Lion replied angrily, half getting up as he spoke.
Here the King interrupted, to prevent the quarrel going
on: he was very nervous, and his voice quite quivered. ‘All
round the town?’ he said. ‘That’s a good long way. Did you
go by the old bridge, or the market-place? You get the best
view by the old bridge.’
‘I’m sure I don’t know,’ the Lion growled out as he lay
down again. ‘There was too much dust to see anything.
What a time the Monster is, cutting up that cake!’
Alice had seated herself on the bank of a little brook,
with the great dish on herknees, and was sawing away dili-
gently with the knife. ‘It’s very provoking!’ she said, in
99

The Lion and the Unicorn

reply to the Lion (she was getting quite used to being called
‘the Monster’). ‘I’ve cut several slices already, but they
always join on again!’
‘You don’t know how to manage Looking-glass cakes,’
the Unicorn remarked. ‘Hand it round first, and cut it after-
wards.’
This sounded nonsense, but Alice very obediently got
up, and carried the dish round, and the cake divided itself
into three pieces as she did so. ‘

now

cut it up,’ said the
Lion, as she returned to her place with the empty dish.
‘I say, this isn’t fair!’ cried the Unicorn, as Alice sat with
the knife in her hand, very much puzzled how to begin. ‘The
Monster has given the Lion twice as much as me!’
‘She’s kept none for herself, anyhow,’ said the Lion. ‘Do
you like plum-cake, Monster?’
But before Alice could answer him, the drums began.
Where the noise came from, she couldn’t make out: the
air seemed full of it, and it rang through and through her
head till she felt quite deafened. She started to her feet and
sprang across the little brook in her terror, and had just time
to see the Lion and the Unicorn rise to their feet, with angry
looks at being interrupted in their feast, before she dropped
to her knees, and put her hands over her hears, vainly trying
to shut out the dreadful uproar.
‘If

that

doesn’t “drum them out of town,”’ she thought
to herself, ’nothing ever will!’
100

CH AP TER VIII

‘It’s My Own Invention’

After a while the noise seemed gradually to die away,
till all was dead silence, and Alice lifted up her head in some
alarm. There was no one to be seen, and her firstthought was
that she must have been dreaming about the Lion and the
Unicorn and those still lying at her feet, on which she had
tried to cut the plum- cake, ‘So I wasn’t dreaming, after all,’
she said to herself, ‘unless— unless we’re all part of the
same dream. Only I do hope it’s

my

dream, and not the Red
King’s! I don’t like belonging to another person’s dream,’
she went on in a rather complaining tone: ‘I’ve a great mind
to go and wake him, and see what happens!’
101

‘It ’s My Own Invention’

At this moment her thoughts were interrupted by a loud
shouting of ‘Ahoy! Ahoy! Check! and a Knight dressed in
crimson armour, came galloping down upon her, brandish-
ing a great club. Just as he reached her, the horse stopped
suddenly: ‘You’re my prisoner!’ the Knight cried, as he
tumbled off his horse.
Startled as she was, Alice was more frightened for him
than for herself at the moment, and watched him with some
anxiety as he mounted again. As soon as he was comfort-
ably in the saddle, he began once more ‘You’re my— ’ but
here another voice broke in ‘Ahoy! Ahoy! Check!’ and Alice
looked round in some surprise for the new enemy.
This time it was a White Knight. He drew up at Alice’s
side, and tumbled off his horse just as the Red Knight had
done: then he got on again, and the two Knights sat and
looked at each other for some time without speaking. Alice
looked from one to the other in some bewilderment.
‘She’s

my

prisoner, you know!’ the Red Knight said at
last.
‘Yes, but then

I

came and rescued her!’ the White
Knight replied.
‘Well, we must fight for her, then,’ said the Red Knight,
as he took up his helmet (which hung from the saddle, and
was something the shape of a horse’s head, and put it on.
‘You will observe the Rules of Battle, of course?’ the
White Knight remarked, putting on his helmet too.
‘I always do,’ said the Red Knight, and they began bang-
ing away at each other with such fury that Alice got behind a
tree to be out of the way of the blows.
‘I wonder, now, what the Rules of Battle are,’ she said to
herself, as she watched the fight, timidly peeping out from
her hiding-place: ‘one Rule seems to be, that if one Knight
hits the other, he knocks him off his horse, and if he misses,
he tumbles off himself—and another Rule seems to be that
they hold their clubs with their arms, as if they were Punch
and Judy— What a noise they make when they tumble! Just
102

‘It ’s My Own Invention’

like a whole set of fire- irons falling into the fender! And
how quiet the horses are! They let them get on and off them
just as if they were tables!’
Another Rule of Battle, that Alice had not noticed,
seemed to be that they always fell on their heads, and the
battle ended with their both falling off in this way, side by
side: when they got up again, they shook hands, and then the
Red Knight mounted and galloped off.
‘It was a glorious victory, wasn’t it?’ said the White
Knight, as he came up panting.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice said doubtfully. ‘I don’t want to be
anybody’s prisoner. I want to be a Queen.’
‘So you will, when you’ve crossed the next brook,’ said
the White Knight. ‘I’ll see you safe to the end of the
wood— and then I must go back, you know. That’s the end
of my move.’
‘Thank you very much,’ said Alice. ‘May I help you off
with your helmet?’ It was evidently more than he could
manage by himself; however, she managed to shake him out
of it at last.
‘Now one can breathe more easily,’ said the Knight, put-
ting back his shaggy hair with both hands, and turning his
gentle face and large mild eyes to Alice. She thought she
had never seen such a strange-looking soldier in all her life.
He was dressed in tin armour, which seemed to fit him
very badly, and he had a queer-shaped little deal box fas-
tened across his shoulder, upside-down, and with the lid
hanging open. Alice looked at it with great curiosity.
‘I see you’re admiring my little box.’ the Knight said in
a friendly tone. ‘It’s my own invention— to keep clothes
and sandwiches in. You see I carry it upside-down, so that
the rain can’t get in.’
‘But the things can get

out

,’ Alice gently remarked. ‘Do
you know the lid’s open?’
‘I didn’t know it,’ the Knight said, a shade of vexation
passing over his face. ‘Then all the things much have fallen
103

‘It ’s My Own Invention’

out! And the box is no use without them.’ He unfastened it
as he spoke, and was just going to throw it into the bushes,
when a sudden though seemed to strike him, and he hung it
carefully on a tree. ‘Can you guess why I did that?’ he said
to Alice.
Alice shook her head.
‘In hopes some bees my make a nest in it— then I
should get the honey.’
‘But you’ve got a bee-hive— or something like one—
fastened to the saddle,’ said Alice.
‘Yes, it’s a very good bee-hive,’ the Knight said in a dis-
contented tone, ‘one of the best kind. But not a single bee
has come near it yet. And the other thing is a mouse-trap. I
suppose the mice keep the bees out— or the bees keep the
mice out, I don’t know which.’
‘I was wondering what the mouse-trap was for,’ said
Alice. ‘It isn’t very likely there would be any mice on the
horse’s back.’
104

‘It ’s My Own Invention’

‘Not very likely, perhaps,’ said the Knight: ‘but if they

do

come, I don’t choose to have them running all about.’
‘You see,’ he went on after a pause, ‘it’s as well to be pro-
vided for

everything

. That’s the reason the horse has all
those anklets round his feet.’ ‘But what are they for?’ Alice
asked in a tone of great curiosity. ‘To guard against the bites
of sharks,’ the Knight replied. ‘It’s an invention of my own.
And now help me on. I’ll go with you to the end of the
wood— What’s the dish for?’
‘It’s meant for plum-cake,’ said Alice.
‘We’d better take it with us, the Knight said. ‘It’ll some
in handy if we find any plum-cake. Help me to get it into
this bag.’
This took a very long time to manage, though Alice held
the bag open very carefully, because the Knight was so

very


awkward in putting in the dish: the first two or three times
that he tried he fell in himself instead. ‘It’s rather a tight fit,
you see,’ he said, as they got it in a last; ‘There are so many
candlesticks in the bag.’ And he hung it to the saddle, which
was already loaded with bunches of carrots, and fire-irons,
and many other things.
‘I hope you’ve got your hair well fastened on?’ he con-
tinued, as they set off.
‘Only in the usual way,’ Alice said, smiling.
‘That’s hardly enough,’ he said, anxiously. ‘You see the
wind is so

very

strong here. It’s as strong as soup.’
‘Have you invented a plan for keeping the hair from
being blown off?’ Alice enquired.
‘Not yet,’ said the Knight. ‘But I’ve got a plan for keep-
ing it from

falling

off.’
‘I should like to hear it, very much.’
‘First you take an upright stick,’ said the Knight. ‘Then
you make your hair creep up it, like a fruit-tree. Now the
reason hair falls off is because it hangs

down

— things
never fall

upwards

, you know. It’s a plan of my own inven-
tion. You may try it if you like.
105

‘It ’s My Own Invention’

It didn’t sound a comfortable plan, Alice thought, and
for a few minutes she walked on in silence, puzzling over
the idea, and every now and then stopping to help the poor
Knight, who certainly was

not

a good rider.
Whenever the horse stopped (which it did very often),
he fell off in front; and whenever it went on again (which it
generally did rather suddenly), he fell off behind. Otherwise
he kept on pretty well, except that he had a habit of now and
then falling off sideways; and as he generally did this on the
side on which Alice was walking, she soon found that it was
the best plan not to walk

quite

close to the horse.
‘I’m afraid you’ve not had much practice in riding,’ she
ventured to say, as she was helping him up from his fifth
tumble.
The Knight looked very much surprised, and a little
offended at the remark. ‘Whatmakes you say that?’ he
asked, as he scrambled back into the saddle, keeping hold of
Alice’s hair with one hand, to save himself from falling over
on the other side.
‘Because people don’t fall off quite so often, when
they’ve had much practice.’
‘I’ve had plenty of practice,’ the Knight said very
gravely: ‘plenty of practice!’
Alice could think of nothing better to say than ‘Indeed?’
but she said it as heartily as she could. They went on a little
way in silence after this, the Knight with his eyes shut, mut-
tering to himself, and Alice watching anxiously for the next
tumble.
‘The great art of riding,’ the Knight suddenly began in a
loud voice, waving his right arm as he spoke, ‘is to keep— ’
Here the sentence ended as suddenly as it had begun, as the
Knight fell heavily on the top of his head exactly in the path
were Alice was walking. She was quite frightened this time,
and said in an anxious tone, as she picked him up, ‘I hope
no bones are broken?’
106

‘It ’s My Own Invention’

‘None to speak of,’ the Knight said, as if he didn’t mind
breaking two or three of them. ‘The great art of riding, as I
was saying, is— to keep your balance properly. Like this,
you know— ’
He let go the bridle, and stretched out both his arms to
show Alice what he meant, and this time he fell flat on his
back, right under the horse’s feet.
‘Plenty of practice?’ he went on repeating, all the time
that Alice was getting him on his feet again. ‘Plenty of prac-
tice!’
‘It’s too ridiculous!’ cried Alice, losing all her patience
this time. ‘You ought to have a wooden horse on wheels,
that you ought!’
‘Does that kind go smoothly?’ the Knight asked in a
tone of great interest, clasping his arms round the horse’s
neck as he spoke, just in time to save himself from tumbling
off again.
‘Much more smoothly than a live horse,’ Alice said,
with a little scream of laughter, in spite of all she could do to
prevent it.
‘I’ll get one,’ the Knight said thoughtfully to himself.
‘One or two—several.’
There was a short silence after this, and then the Knight
went on again. ‘I’m a great hand at inventing things. Now, I
daresay you noticed, that last time you picked me up, that I
was looking rather thoughtful?’
‘You

were

a little grave,’ said Alice.
‘Well, just then I was inventing a new way of getting
over a gate— would you like to hear it?’
‘Very much indeed,’ Alice said politely.
‘I’ll tell you how I came to think of it,’ said the Knight.
‘You see, I said to myself, “The only difficulty is with the
feet: the

head

is high enough already.” Now, first I put my
head on the top of the gate— then I stand on my head—
then the feet are high enough, you see— then I’m over, you
see.’
107

‘It ’s My Own Invention’

‘Yes, I suppose you’d be over when that was done,’
Alice said thoughtfully: ‘but don’t you think it would be
rather hard?’
‘I haven’t tried it yet,’ the Knight said, gravely: ‘so I
can’t tell for certain— but I’m afraid it

would

be a little
hard.’
He looked so vexed at the idea, that Alice changed the
subject hastily. ‘What a curious helmet you’ve got!’ she said
cheerfully. ‘Is that your invention too?’
The Knight looked down proudly at his helmet, which
hung from the saddle. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘but I’ve invented a
better one than that— like a sugar loaf. When I used to wear
it, if I fell of the horse, it always touched the ground
directly. So I had a

very

little way to fall, you see— But
there

was

the danger of falling

into

it, to be sure.

that

hap-
pened to me once—and the worst of it was, before I could
get out again, the other White Knight came and put it on. He
thought it was his own helmet.’
The knight looked so solemn about it that Alice did not
dare to laugh. ‘I’m afraid you must have hurt him,’ she said
in a trembling voice, ‘being on the top of his head.’
‘I had to kick him, of course,’ the Knight said, very seri-
ously. ‘And then he took the helmet off again— but it took
108

‘It ’s My Own Invention’

hours and hours to get me out. I was as fast as— as light-
ning, you know.’
‘But that’s a different kind of fastness,’ Alice objected.
The Knight shook his head. ‘It was all kinds of fastness
with me, I can assure you!’ he said. He raised his hands in
some excitement as he said this, and instantly rolled out of
the saddle, and fell headlong into a deep ditch.
Alice ran to the side of the ditch to look for him. She
was rather startled by the fall, as for some time he had kept
on very well, and she was afraid that he really

was

hurt this
time. However, though she could see nothing but the soles
of his feet, she was much relieved to hear that he was talking
on in his usual tone. ‘All kinds of fastness,’ he repeated: ‘but
it was careless of him to put another man’s helmet on—
with the man in it, too.’
‘How

can

you go on talking so quietly, head down-
wards?’ Alice asked, as she dragged him out by the feet, and
laid him in a heap on the bank.
The Knight looked surprised at the question. ‘What does
it matter where my body happens to be?’ he said. ‘My mind
goes on working all the same. In fact, the more head down-
wards I am, the more I keep inventing new things.’
‘Now the cleverest thing of the sort that I ever did,’ he
went on after a pause, ‘was inventing a new pudding during
the meat- course.’
‘In time to have it cooked for the next course?’ said
Alice.
‘Well, not the

next

course,’ the Knight said in a slow
thoughtful tone: ‘no, certainly not the next

course

.’
‘Then it would have to be the next day. I suppose you
wouldn’t have two pudding-courses in one dinner?’
‘Well, not the

next

day,’ the Knight repeated as before:
‘not the next

day

. In fact,’ he went on, holding his head
down, and his voice getting lower and lower, ‘I don’t believe
that pudding ever

was

cooked! In fact, I don’t believe that
109

‘It ’s My Own Invention’

pudding ever

will

be cooked! And yet it was a very clever
pudding to invent.’
‘What did you mean it to be made of?’ Alice asked, hop-
ing to cheer him up, for the poor Knight seemed quite low-
spirited about it.
It began with blotting paper,’ the Knight answered with
a groan.
‘That wouldn’t be very nice, I’m afraid— ’
‘Not very nice

alone

,’ he interrupted, quite eagerly: ‘but
you’ve no idea what a difference it makes mixing it with
other things— such as gunpowder and sealing-wax. And
here I must leave you.’ They had just come to the end of the
wood.
Alice could only look puzzled: she was thinking of the
pudding.
‘You are sad,’ the Knight said in an anxious tone: ‘let me
sing you a song to comfort you.’
‘Is it very long?’ Alice asked, for she had heard a good
deal of poetry that day.
‘It’s long,’ said the Knight, ‘but very,

very

beautiful.
Everybody that hears me sing it— either it brings the

tears


into their eyes, or else— ’
‘Or else what?’ said Alice, for the Knight had made a
sudden pause.
‘Or else it doesn’t, you know. The name of the song is
called “

Haddock’s Eyes

.”’
‘Oh, that’s the name of the song, is it?’ Alice said, trying
to feel interested.
‘No, you don’t understand,’ the Knight said, looking a
little vexed. ‘That’s what the name is

called

. The name
really

is



The Aged Aged Man

.”’
‘Then I ought to have said “That’s what the

song

is
called”?’ Alice corrected herself.
‘No, you oughtn’t: that’s quite another thing! The

song


is called “

Ways and Means

”: but that’s only what it’s

called

, you know!’
110

‘It ’s My Own Invention’

‘Well, what

is

the song, then?’ said Alice, who was by
this time completely bewildered.
‘I was coming to that,’ the Knight said. ‘The song really

is



A-sitting On A Gate

”: and the tune’s my own inven-
tion.’
So saying, he stopped his horse and let the reins fall on
its neck: then, slowly beating time with one hand, and with a
faint smile lighting up his gentle foolish face, as if he
enjoyed the music of his song, he began.
Of all the strange things that Alice saw in her journey
Through The Looking-Glass, this was the one that she
always remembered most clearly. Years afterwards she
could bring the whole scene back again, as if it had been
only yesterday— the mild blue eyes and kindly smile of the
Knight— the setting sun gleaming through his hair, and
shining on his armour in a blaze of light that quite dazzled
her— the horse quietly moving about, with the reins hang-
ing loose on his neck, cropping the grass at her feet— and
the black shadows of the forest behind— all this she took in
like a picture, as, with one hand shading her eyes, she leant
against a green, watching the strange pair, and listening, in a
half dream, to the melancholy music of the song.
‘But the tune

isn’t

his own invention,’ she said to her-
self: ‘it’s “

I give thee all, I can no more.

”’ She stood and
listened very attentively, but no tears came into her eyes.

‘I’ll tell thee everything I can;
There’s little to relate.
I saw an aged aged man,
A-sitting on a gate.”
Who are you, aged man?’
I said. “and how is it you live?”
And his answer trickled through my head
Like water through a sieve.
He said “I look for butterflies
111

‘It ’s My Own Invention’

That sleep among the wheat:
I make them into mutton-pies,
And sell them in the street.
I sell them unto men,’he said,
“Who sail on stormy seas;
And that ’s the way I get my bread --
A trifle, if you please.”
But I was thinking of a plan
To dye one’s whiskers green,
And always use so large a fan
That they could not be seen.
So, having no reply to give
To what the old man said,
I cried, “Come, tell me how you live!”
And thumped him on the head.
His accents mild took up the tale:
He said “I go my ways,
And when I find a mountain-rill,
I set it in a blaze;
And thence they make a stuff they call
112

‘It ’s My Own Invention’

Rolands’ Macassar Oil --
Yet twopence-halfpenny is all
They give me for my toil.”
But I was thinking of a way
To feed oneself on batter,
And so go on from day to day
Getting a little fatter.
I shook him well from side to side,
Until his face was blue:
“Come, tell me how you live,”I cried,
“And what it is you do!”
He said “I hunt for haddocks’ eyes
Among the heather bright,
And work them into waistcoat-buttons
In the silent night.
And these I do not sell for gold
Or coin of silvery shine
But for a copper halfpenny,
And that will purchase nine.
“I sometimes dig for buttered rolls,
Or set limed twigs for crabs;
I sometimes search the grassy knolls
For wheels of Hansom-cabs.
And that’s the way”(he gave a wink)
“By which I get my wealth --
And very gladly will I drink
Your Honour’s noble health.”
I heard him then, for I had just
Completed my design
To keep the Menai bridge from rust
By boiling it in wine.
I thanked much for telling me
113

‘It ’s My Own Invention’

The way he got his wealth,
But chiefly for his wish that he
Might drink my noble health.
And now, if e’er by chance
I put My fingers into glue
Or madly squeeze a right-hand foot
Into a left-hand shoe,
Or if I drop upon my toe
A very heavy weight,
I weep, for it reminds me so,
Of that old man I used to know --
Whose look was mild, whose speech was slow,
Whose hair was whiter than the snow,
Whose face was very like a crow,
With eyes, like cinders, all aglow,
Who seemed distracted with his woe,
Who rocked his body to and fro,
And muttered mumblingly and low,
As if his mouth were full of dough,
Who snorted like a buffalo --
That summer evening, long ago,
A-sitting on a gate.’

As the Knight sang the last words of the ballad, he gath-
ered up the reins, and turned his horse’s head along the road
by which they had come. ‘You’ve only a few yards to go,’ he
said,’ down the hill and over that little brook, and then
you’ll be a Queen - -But you’ll stay and see me off first?’ he
added as Alice turned with an eager look in the direction to
which he pointed. ‘I shan’t be long. You’ll wait and wave
your handkerchief when I get to that turn in the road? I think
it’ll encourage me, you see.’
114

‘It ’s My Own Invention’

‘Of course I’ll wait,’ said Alice: ‘and thank you very
much for coming so far— and for the song— I liked it very
much.’
‘I hope so,’ the Knight said doubtfully: ‘but you didn’t
cry so much as I thought you would.’
So they shook hands, and then the Knight rode slowly
away into the forest. ‘It won’t take long to see him

off

, I
expect,’ Alice said to herself, as she stood watching him.
‘There he goes! Right on his head as usual! However, he
gets on again pretty easily— that comes of having so many
things hung round the horse— ’ So she went on talking to
herself, as she watched the horse walking leisurely along the
road, and the Knight tumbling off, first on one side and then
on the other. After the fourth or fifth tumble he reached the
turn, and then she waved her handkerchief to him, and
waited till he was out of sight.
‘I hope it encouraged him,’ she said, as he turned to run
down the hill: ‘and now for the last brook, and to be a
115

‘It ’s My Own Invention’

Queen! How grand it sounds!’ A very few steps brought her
to the edge of the brook. ‘The Eighth Square at last!’ she
cried as she bounded across, and threw herself down to rest
on a lawn as soft as moss, with little flower-beds dotted-
about it here and there. ‘Oh, how glad I am to get here! And
what

is

this on my head?’ she exclaimed in a tone of dismay,
as she put her hands up to something very heavy, and fitted
tight all round her head.
‘But how

can

it have got there without my knowing it?’
she said to herself, as she lifted it off, and set it on her lap to
make out what it could possibly be.
It was a golden crown.
116

CH AP TER IX



Queen Alice

‘Well, this

is

grand!’ said Alice. ‘I never expected I
should be a Queen so soon— and I’ll tell you what it is,
your majesty,’ she went on in a severe tone (she was always
rather fond of scolding herself), ‘it’ll never do for you to be
lolling about on the grass like that! Queens have to be digni-
fied, you know!’
So she got up and walked about— rather stiffly just at
first, as she was afraid that the crown might come off: but
she comforted herself with the thought that there was
nobody to see her, ‘and if I really am a Queen,’ she said as
she sat down again, ‘I shall be able to manage it quite well
in time.’
Everything was happening so oddly that she didn’t feel a
bit surprised at finding the Red Queen and the White Queen
sitting close to her, one on each side: she would have like
very much to ask them how they came there, but she feared
it would not be quite civil. However, there would be no
harm, she thought, in asking if the game was over. ‘Please,
117

Queen Alice

would you tell me— ’ she began, looking timidly at the Red
Queen.
‘Speak when you’re spoken to!’ The Queen sharply
interrupted her.
‘But if everybody obeyed that rule,’ said Alice, who was
always ready for a little argument, ‘and if you only spoke
when you were spoken to, and the other person always
waited for

you

to begin, you see nobody would ever say
anything, so that— ’
‘Ridiculous!’ cried the Queen. ‘Why, don’t you see,
child— ’ here she broke off with a frown, and, after thinking
for a minute, suddenly changed the subject of the conversa-
tion. ‘What do you mean by ‘If you really are a Queen”?
What right have you to all yourself so? You can’t be a
Queen, you know, till you’ve passed the proper examina-
tion. And the sooner we begin it, the better.’
‘I only said “if”!’ poor Alice pleaded in a piteous tone.
The two Queens looked at each other, and the Red
Queen remarked, with a little shudder, ‘She

says

she only
said “if” - ’
‘But she said a great deal more than that!’ the White
Queen moaned, wringing her hands. ‘Oh, ever so much
more than that!’
‘So you did, you know,’ the Red Queen said to Alice.
‘Always speak the truth— think before you speak— and
write it down afterwards.’
‘I’m sure I didn’t mean— ’ Alice was beginning, but the
Red Queen interrupted her impatiently.
‘That’s just what I complain of! You

should

have meant!
What do you suppose is the use of child without any mean-
ing? Even a joke should have some meaning— and a child’s
more important than a joke, I hope. You couldn’t deny that,
even if you tried with both hands.’
‘I don’t deny things with my

hands

,’ Alice objected.
‘Nobody said you did,’ said the Red Queen. ‘I said you
couldn’t if you tried.’
118

Queen Alice

‘She’s in that state of mind,’ said the White Queen, ‘that
she wants to deny

something

— only she doesn’t know what
to deny!’
‘A nasty, vicious temper,’ the Red Queen remarked; and
then there was an uncomfortable silence for a minute or
two.
The Red Queen broke the silence by saying to the White
Queen, ‘I invite you to Alice’s dinner-party this afternoon.’
The White Queen smiled feebly, and said ‘And I invite

you

.’
‘I didn’t know I was to have a party at all,’ said Alice;
‘but if there is to be one, I think

I

ought to invite the guests.’
‘We gave you the opportunity of doing it,’ the Red
Queen remarked: ‘but I daresay you’ve not had many les-
sons in manners yet?’
‘Manners are not taught in lessons,’ said Alice. ‘Les-
sons teach you to do sums, and things of that sort.’
‘And you do Addition?’ the White Queen asked.
‘What’s one and one and one and one and one and one and
one and one and one and one?’
‘I don’t know,’ said Alice. ‘I lost count.’
‘She can’t do Addition,’ the Red Queen interrupted.
‘Can you do Subtraction? Take nine from eight.’
‘Nine from eight I can’t, you know,’ Alice replied very
readily: ‘but— ’
‘She can’t do Subtraction,’ said the White Queen.
‘Can you do Division? Divide a loaf by a knife— what’s
the answer to that?’
‘I suppose— ’ Alice was beginning, but the Red
Queen answered for her. ‘Bread-and-butter, of course. Try
another Subtraction sum. Take a bone from a dog: what
remains?’
Alice considered. ‘The bone wouldn’t remain, of
course, if I took it— and the dog wouldn’t remain; it would
come to bite me— and I’m sure I shouldn’t remain!’
119

Queen Alice

‘Then you think nothing would remain?’ said the Red
Queen.
‘I think that’s the answer.’
‘Wrong, as usual,’ said the Red Queen: ‘the dog’s tem-
per would remain.’
‘But I don’t see how— ’
‘Why, look here!’ the Red Queen cried. ‘The dog would
lose its temper, wouldn’t it?’
‘Perhaps it would,’ Alice replied cautiously.
‘Then if the dog went away, its temper would remain!’
the Queen exclaimed triumphantly.
Alice said, as gravely as she could, ‘They might go dif-
ferent ways.’ But she couldn’t help thinking to herself,
‘What dreadful nonsense we

are

talking!’
‘She can’t do sums a

bit

!’ the Queens said together,
with great emphasis.
‘Can

you

do sums?’ Alice said, turning suddenly on the
White Queen, for she didn’t like being found fault with so
much.
The Queen gasped and shut her eyes. ‘I can do Addi-
tion,’ ‘if you give me time— but I can do Subtraction, under

any

circumstances!’
‘Of course you know your A B C?’ said the Red Queen.
‘To be sure I do.’ said Alice.
‘So do I,’ the White Queen whispered: ‘we’ll often say it
over together, dear. And I’ll tell you a secret— I can read
words of one letter! Isn’t

that

grand! However, don’t be dis-
couraged. You’ll come to it in time.’
Here the Red Queen began again. ‘Can you answer use-
ful questions?’ she said. ‘How is bread made?’
‘I know

that

!’ Alice cried eagerly. ‘You take some
flour—’
‘Where do you pick the flower?’ the White Queen
asked. ‘In a garden, or in the hedges?’
‘Well, it isn’t

picked

at all,’ Alice explained: ‘it’s

ground

— ’
120

Queen Alice

‘How many acres of ground?’ said the White Queen.
‘You mustn’t leave out so many things.’
‘Fan her head!’ the Red Queen anxiously interrupted.
‘She’ll be feverish after so much thinking.’ So they set to
work and fanned her with bunches of leaves, till she had to
beg them to leave off, it blew her hair about so.
‘She’s all right again now,’ said the Red Queen. ‘Do you
know Languages? What’s the French for fiddle-de-dee?’
‘Fiddle-de-dee’s not English,’ Alice replied gravely.
‘Who ever said it was?’ said the Red Queen.
Alice thought she saw a way out of the difficulty this
time. ‘If you’ll tell me what language “fiddle-de-dee” is, I’ll
tell you the French for it!’ she exclaimed triumphantly.
But the Red Queen drew herself up rather stiffly, and
said ‘Queens never make bargains.’
‘I wish Queens never asked questions,’ Alice thought to
herself.
‘Don’t let us quarrel,’ the White Queen said in an anx-
ious tone. ‘What is the cause of lightning?’
‘The cause of lightning,’ Alice said very decidedly, for
she felt quite certain about this, ‘is the thunder— no, no!’
she hastily corrected herself. ‘I meant the other way.’
‘It’s too late to correct it,’ said the Red Queen: ‘when
you’ve once said a thing, that fixes it, and you must take the
consequences.’
‘Which reminds me— ’ the White Queen said, looking
down and nervously clasping and unclasping her hands, ‘we
had

such

a thunderstorm last Tuesday— I mean one of the
last set of Tuesdays, you know.’
Alice was puzzled. ‘In

our

country,’ she remarked,
‘there’s only one day at a time.’
The Red Queen said, ‘That’s a poor thin way of doing
things. Now

here

, we mostly have days and nights two or
three at a time, and sometimes in the winter we take as
many as five nights together— for warmth, you know.’
121

Queen Alice

‘Are five nights warmer than one night, then?’ Alice
ventured to ask.
‘Five times as warm, of course.’
‘But they should be five times as

cold

, by the same
rule— ’
‘Just so!’ cried the Red Queen. ‘Five times as warm,

and

five times as cold— just as I’m five times as rich as you
are,

and

five times as clever!’
Alice sighed and gave it up. ‘It’s exactly like a riddle
with no answer!’ she thought.
‘Humpty Dumpty saw it too,’ the White Queen went on
in a low voice, more as if she were talking to herself. ‘He
came to the door with a corkscrew in his hand— ’
‘What did he want?’ said the Red Queen.
‘He said he

would

come in,’ the White Queen went on,
‘because he was looking for a hippopotamus. Now, as it
happened, there wasn’t such a thing in the house, that morn-
ing.’
‘Is there generally?’ Alice asked in an astonished tone.
‘Well, only on Thursdays,’ said the Queen.
‘I know what he came for,’ said Alice: ‘he wanted to
punish the fish, because— ’
Here the White Queen began again. ‘It was

such

a thun-
derstorm, you can’t think!’ (She

never

could you know,’
said the Red Queen.) ‘And part of the roof came off, and
ever so much thunder got in— and it went rolling round the
room in great lumps— and knocking over the tables and
things— till I was so frightened, I couldn’t remember my
own name!’
Alice thought to herself, ‘I never should

try

to remem-
ber my name in the middle of an accident! Where would be
the use of it?’ but she did not say this aloud, for fear of hurt-
ing the poor Queen’s feeling.
‘Your Majesty must excuse her,’ the Red Queen said to
Alice, taking one of the White Queen’s hands in her own,
122

Queen Alice

and gently stroking it: ‘she means well, but she can’t help
saying foolish things, as a general rule.’
The White Queen looked timidly at Alice, who felt she

ought

to say something kind, but really couldn’t think of
anything at the moment.
‘She never was really well brought up,’ the Red Queen
went on: ‘but it’s amazing how good-tempered she is! Pat
her on the head, and see how pleased she’ll be!’ But this
was more than Alice had courage to do.
‘A little kindness— and putting her hair in papers—
would do wonders with her— ’
The White Queen gave a deep sigh, and laid her head on
Alice’s shoulder. ‘I

am

so sleepy?’ she moaned.
‘She’s tired, poor thing!’ said the Red Queen. ‘Smooth
her hair—lend her your nightcap— and sing her a soothing
lullaby.’
‘I haven’t got a nightcap with me,’ said Alice, as she
tried to obey the first direction: ‘and I don’t know any sooth-
ing lullabies.”
‘I must do it myself, then,’ said the Red Queen, and she
began:
123

Queen Alice

‘Hush-a-by lady, in Alice’s lap!
Till the feast ’s ready, we’ve time for a nap:
When the feast ’s over, we’ll go to the ball—
Red Queen, and White Queen, and Alice, and all!

‘And now you know the words,’ she added, as she put
her head down on Alice’s other shoulder, ‘just sing it
through to

me

. I’m getting sleepy, too.’ In another moment
both Queens were fast asleep, and snoring loud.
‘What

am

I to do? exclaimed Alice, looking about in
great perplexity, as first one round head, and then the other,
rolled down from her shoulder, and lay like a heavy lump in
her lap. ‘I don’t thing it

ever

happened before, that any one
had to take care of two Queens asleep at once! No, not in all
the History of England— it couldn’t, you know, because
there never was more than one Queen at a time. Do wake
124

Queen Alice

up, you heavy things!’ she went on in an impatient tone; but
there was no answer but a gentle snoring.
The snoring got more distinct every minute, and
sounded more like a tune: at last she could even make out
the words, and she listened so eagerly that, when the two
great heads vanished from her lap, she hardly missed them.
She was standing before an arched doorway over which
were the words “QUEEN ALICE” in large letters, and on
each side of the arch there was a bell-handle; one was
marked ‘Visitors’ Bell,’ and the other ‘Servants’ Bell.’
‘I’ll wait till the song’s over,’ thought Alice, ‘and then
I’ll ring— the—

which

bell must I ring?’ she went on, very
much puzzled by the names. ‘I’m not a visitor, and I’m not a
servant. There

ought

to be one marked “Queen,” you
know— ’
Just then the door opened a little way, and a creature
with a long beak put its head out for a moment and said ‘No
admittance till the week after next!’ and shut the door again
with a bang.
Alice knocked and rang in vain for a long time, but at
last, a very old Frog, who was sitting under a tree, got up
and hobbled slowly towards her: he was dressed in bright
yellow, and had enormous boots on.
‘What is it, now?’ the Frog said in a deep hoarse whis-
per.
Alice turned round, ready to find fault with anybody.
‘Where’s the servant whose business it is to answer the
door?’ she began angrily.
‘Which door?’ said the Frog.
Alice almost stamped with irritation at the slow drawl in
which he spoke. ‘

this

door, of course!’
The Frog looked at the door with his large dull eyes for a
minute: then he went nearer and rubbed it with his thumb, as
if he were trying whether the paint would come off; then he
looked at Alice.
125

Queen Alice

‘To answer the door?’ he said. ‘What’s it been asking
of?’ He was so hoarse that Alice could scarcely hear him.
‘I don’t know what you mean,’ she said.
‘I talks English, doesn’t I?’ the Frog went on. ‘Or are
you deaf? What did it ask you?’
‘Nothing!’ Alice said impatiently. ‘I’ve been knocking
at it!’
‘Shouldn’t do that— shouldn’t do that— ’ the Frog mut-
tered. ‘Wexes it, you know.’ Then he went up and gave the
door a kick with one of his great feet. ‘You let

it

alone,’ he
panted out, as he hobbled back to his tree, ‘and it’ll let

you


alone, you know.’
At this moment the door was flung open, and a shrill
voice was heard singing:

‘To the Looking-Glass world it was Alice that said,
“I’ve a sceptre in hand, I’ve a crown on my head;
Let the Looking-Glass creatures, whatever they be,
Come and dine with the Red Queen, the White Queen, and me.”’

And hundreds of voices joined in the chorus:

‘Then fill up the glasses as quick as you can,
And sprinkle the table with buttons and bran:
Put cats in the coffee, and mice in the tea—
And welcome Queen Alice with thirty-times-three!’

Then followed a confused noise of cheering, and Alice
thought to herself, ‘Thirty times three makes ninety. I won-
der if any one’s counting?’ In a minute there was silence
again, and the same shrill voice sang another verse;

‘”O Looking-Glass creatures,”quothe Alice, “draw near!
’Tis and honour to see me, a favour to hear:
’Tis a privilege high to have dinner and tea
Along with the Red Queen, the White Queen, and me!”’
126

Queen Alice

Then came the chorus again: --

‘Then fill up the glasses with treacle and ink,
Or anything else that is pleasant to drink:
Mix sand with the cider, and wool with the wine—
And welcome Queen Alice with ninety-times-nine!’

‘Ninety times nine!’ Alice repeated in despair, ‘Oh,
that’ll never be done! I’d better go in at once— ’ and there
was a dead silence the moment she appeared.
Alice glanced nervously along the table, as she walked
up the large hall, and noticed that there were about fifty
quests, of all kinds: some were animals, some birds, and
there were even a few flowers among them. ‘I’m glad
they’ve come without waiting to be asked,’ she thought: ‘I
should never have known who were the right people to
invite!’
There were three chairs at the head of the table; the Red
and White Queens had already taken two of them, but the
middle one was empty. Alice sat down in it, rather uncom-
fortable in the silence, and longing for some one to speak.
At last the Red Queen began. ‘You’ve missed the soup
and fish,’ she said. ‘Put on the joint!’ And the waiters set a
leg of mutton before Alice, who looked at it ratheranxiously,
as she had never had to carve a joint before.
‘You look a little shy; let me introduce you to that leg of
mutton,’ said the Red Queen. ‘Alice— Mutton; Mutton—
Alice.’ The leg of mutton got up in the dish and made a little
bow to Alice; and Alice returned the bow, not knowing
whether to be frightened or amused.
‘May I give you a slice?’ she said, taking up the knife
and fork, and looking from one Queen to the other.
‘Certainly not,’ the Red Queen, very decidedly: ‘it isn’t
etiquette to cut any one you’ve been introduced to. Remove
the joint!’ And the waiters carried it off, and brought a large
plum-pudding in its place.
127

Queen Alice

‘I won’t be introduced to the pudding, please,’ Alice said
rather hastily, ‘or shall we get no dinner at all. May I give
you some?’
But the Red Queen looked sulky, and growled ‘Pud-
ding— Alice; Alice— Pudding. Remove the pudding!’ and
the waiters took it always so quickly that Alice couldn’t
return its bow.
However, she didn’t see why the Red Queen should be
the only one to give orders, so, as an experiment, she called
out ‘Waiter! Bring back the pudding!’ and there it was again
in a moment like a conjuring-trick. It was so large that she
couldn’t help feeling a

little

shy with it, as she had been
with the mutton; however, she conquered her shyness by a
great effort and cut a slice and handed it to the Red Queen.
‘What impertinence!’ said the Pudding. ‘I wonder how
you’d like it, if I were to cut a slice out of

you

, you crea-
ture!’
‘It spoke in a thick, suety sort of voice, and Alice hadn’t
a word to say in reply: she could only sit and look at it and
gasp.
128

Queen Alice

‘Make a remark,’ said the Red Queen: ‘it’s ridiculous to
leave all the conversation to the pudding!’
‘Do you know, I’ve had such a quantity of poetry
repeated to me to-day,’ Alicebegan, a little frightened at
finding that, the moment she opened her lips, there was dead
silence, and all eyes were fixed upon her; ‘and it’s a very
curious thing, I think— every poem was about fishes in
some way. Do you know why they’re so fond of fishes, all
about here?’
She spoke to the Red Queen, whose answer was a little
wide of the mark. ‘As to fishes,’ she said, very slowly and
solemnly, putting her mouth close to Alice’s ear, ‘her White
Majesty knows a lovely riddle— all in poetry— all about
fishes. Shall she repeat it?’
‘Her Red Majesty’s very kind to mention it,’ the White
Queen murmured into Alice’s other ear, in a voice like the
cooing of a pigeon. ‘It would be

such

a treat! May I?’
‘Please do,’ Alice said very politely. The White Queen
laughed with delight, and stroked Alice’s cheek. Then she
began:

‘”First, the fish must be caught.’
That is easy: a baby, I think, could have caught it.
“Next, the fish must be bought.’
That is easy: a penny, I think, would have bought it.
“Now cook me the fish!’
That is easy, and will not take more than a minute.
Let it lie in a dish!”
That is easy, because it already is in it.
“Bring it here! Let me sup!”
It is easy to set such a dish on the table.
“Take the dish-cover up!’
Ah,

that

is so hard that I fear I’m unable!
129

Queen Alice

For it holds it like glue—
Holds the lid to the dish, while it lies in the middle:
Which is easiest to do,
Un-dish-cover the fish, or dishcover the riddle?’

‘Take a minute to
think about it, and then
guess,’ said the Red
Queen. ‘Meanwhile, we’ll
drink your health—
Queen Alice’s health!’
she screamed at the top of
her voice, and all the
guests began drinking it
directly, and very queerly
they managed it: some of
130

Queen Alice

them put their glasses upon their heads like extinguishers,
and drank all that trickled down their faces—others upset
the decanters, and drank the wine as it ran off the edges of
the table— and three of them (who looked like kangaroos)
scrambled into the dish of roast mutton, and began eagerly
lapping up the gravy, ‘just like pigs in a trough!’ thought
Alice.
‘You ought to return thanks in a neat speech,’ the Red
Queen said, frowning at Alice as she spoke.
‘We must support you, you know,’ the White Queen
whispered, as Alice got up to do it, very obediently, but a lit-
tle frightened.
‘Thank you very much,’ she whispered in reply, ‘but I
can do quite well without.’
‘That wouldn’t be at all the thing,’ the Red Queen said
very decidedly: so Alice tried to submit to it with a good
grace.
(And they

did

push so!’ she said afterwards, when she
was telling her sister the history of the feast. ‘You would
have thought they wanted to squeeze me flat!’)
In fact it was rather difficult for her to keep in her place
while she made her speech: the two Queens pushed her so,
one on each side, that they nearly lifted her up into the air: ‘I
rise to return thanks— ’ Alice began: and she really

did

rise
as she spoke, several inches; but she got hold of the edge of
the table, and managed to pull herself down again.
‘Take care of yourself!’ screamed the White Queen,
seizing Alice’s hair with both her hands. ‘Something’s going
to happen!’
And then (as Alice afterwards described it) all sorts of
thing happened in a moment. The candles all grew up to the
ceiling, looking something like a bed of rushes with fire-
works at the top. As to the bottles, they each took a pair of
plates, which they hastily fitted on as wings, and so, with
forks for legs, went fluttering about in all directions: ‘and
131

Queen Alice

very like birds they look,’ Alice thought to herself, as well
as she could in the dreadful confusion that was beginning.
At this moment she heard a hoarse laugh at her side, and
turn to see what was the matter with the White Queen; but,
instead of the Queen, there was the leg of mutton sitting in
the chair. ‘Here I am!’ cried a voice from the soup tureen,
and Alice turned again, just in time to see the Queen’s broad
good-natured face grinning at the for a moment over the
edge of the tureen, before she disappeared into the soup.
There was not a moment to be lost. Already several of
the guests were lying down inthe dishes, and the soup ladle
was walking up the table towards Alice’s chair, and beckon-
ing to her impatiently to get out of its way.
‘I can’t stand this any longer!’ she cried as she jumped
up and seized the tablecloth with both hands: one good pull,
and plates, dishes, guests, and candles came crashing down
together in a heap on the floor.
‘And as for

you

,’ she went on, turning fiercly upon the
Red Queen, who she considered as the cause of all the mis-
chief— but the Queen was no longer at her side— she had
suddenly dwindled down to the size of a little doll, and was
now on the table, merrily running round and round after her
own shawl, which was trailing behind her.
At any other time, Alice would have felt surprised at
this, but she was far too much excited to be surprised at any-
thing

now

. ‘As for

you

,’ she repeated, catching hold of the
little creature in the very act of jumping over a bottle which
had just lighted upon the table, ‘I’ll shake you into a kitten,
that I will!’
132

CH AP TER X

Shaking

She took her off the table as she spoke, and shook her
backwards and forwards with all her might.
The Red Queen made no resistance whatever; only her
face grew very small, and her eyes got large and green: and
still, as Alice went on shaking her, she kept on growing
shorter— and fatter— and softer— and rounder— and --
133

CH AP TER XI



Waking

— and it really

was

a kitten, after all.
134

CH AP TER XII

Which Dreamed it?

‘Your majesty shouldn’t purr so loud,’ Alice said, rub-
bing her eyes, and addressing the kitten, respectfully, yet
with some severity. ‘You woke me out of oh! such a nice
dream! And you’ve been along with me, Kitty— all through
the Looking-Glass world. Did you know it, dear?’
It is a very inconvenient habit of kittens (Alice had once
made the remark) that, whatever you say to them, they
Always purr. ‘If them would only purr for “yes” and mew
for “no,” or any rule of that sort,’ she had said, ‘so that one
could keep up a conversation! But how

can

you talk with a
person if they always say the same thing?’
On this occasion the kitten only purred: and it was
impossible to guess whether it meant ‘yes’ or ‘no.’
So Alice hunted among the chessmen on the table till
she had found the Red Queen: then she went down on her
knees on the hearth-rug, and put the kitten and the Queen to
look at each other. “Now, Kitty!’ she cried, clapping her
hands triumphantly. ‘Confess that was what you turned
into!’
(‘But it wouldn’t look at it,’ she said, when she was
explaining the thing afterwards to her sister: ‘it turned away
its head, and pretended not to see it: but it looked a

little


ashamed of itself, so I think it

must

have been the Red
Queen.’)
‘Sit up a little more stiffly, dear!’ Alice cried with a
merry laugh. ‘And curtsey while you’re thinking what to—
what to purr. It saves time, remember!’ And she caught it up
and gave it one little kiss, ‘just in honour of having been a
Red Queen.’
‘Snowdrop, my pet!’ she went on, looking over her
shoulder at the White Kitten, which was still patiently
135

Which Dreamed it?

undergoing its toilet, ‘when

will

Dinah have finished with
your White Majesty, I wonder? That must be the reason you
were so untidy in my dream - - Dinah! do you know that
you’re scrubbing a White Queen? Really, it’s most disre-
spectful of you!
‘And what did

dinah

turn to, I wonder?’ she prattled on,
as she settled comfortably down, with one elbow in the rug,
and her chin in her hand, to watch the kittens. ‘Tell me,
Dinah, did you turn to Humpty Dumpty? I

think

you did—
however, you’d better not mention it to your friends just yet,
for I’m not sure.
‘By the way, Kitty, of only you’d been really with me in
my dream, there was one thing you

would

have enjoyed— I
had such a quantity of poetry said to me, all about fishes!
To-morrow morning you shall have a real treat. All the time
you’re eating your breakfast, I’ll repeat “The Walrus and the
Carpenter” to you; and then you can make believe it’s oys-
ters, dear!
136

Which Dreamed it?

‘Now, Kitty, let’s consider who it was that dreamed it
all. This is a serious question, my dear, and you should

not


go on licking your paw like that— as if Dinah hadn’t
washed you this morning! You see, Kitty, it

must

have been
either me or the Red King. He was part of my dream, of
course— but then I was part of his dream, too!

was

it the
Red King, Kitty. You were his wife, my dear, so you ought
to know— Oh, Kitty,

do

help to settle it! I’m sure your paw
can wait!’ But the provoking kitten only began on the other
paw, and pretended it hadn’t heard the question.
Which do

you

think it was? —

A boat beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July --
Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear --
Long had paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die.
Autumn frosts have slain July.
Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.
Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.
In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:
137

Which Dreamed it?

Ever drifting down the stream --
Lingering in the golden gleam --
Life, what is it but a dream?

THE END

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